When Rep. Justin Amash, a libertarian-leaning Republican who represents Michigan’s Third Congressional District, walked into his town hall meeting on Tuesday, I imagine he had no idea Anna Timmer would be there.
Thanks to a series of tweets he posted earlier this month, Amash made headlines for being the sole GOP representative to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
The viral tweet sparked a virtual firestorm, forcing GOP legislators and conservative pundits alike to opine on whether Amash’s view was right or wrong.
For instance, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who shares many of Amash’s libertarian stances, told Fox News that Amash’s view on impeachment is incorrect because the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was itself “un-libertarian.”
All this to say that the heat was on Amash when he came to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to hold a town hall with constituents.
It was there that he came face-to-face with Timmer.
A video of one segment of the town hall, which you can watch above, shows Timmer blasting Amash over his stated reasons for calling for Trump’s impeachment.
“At first you gave no reason [for impeachment] — I read every single one of your tweets — and then when you were pressed, you finally gave a reason,” Timmer said.
“And you came up with things like discussions of firings that never happened, rumors of recusal reversals that never happened — nobody reversed their recusal — and then made baseless claims about obstruction of justice.”
Timmer then spoke about the intent requirement.
“You have to have corrupt intent. So you have to prove that Trump knew that he was guilty of a crime and knowingly tried to obstruct justice based on that. OK? You don’t have that,” she said.
But Timmer wasn’t finished.
She predicted what would happen to America if Trump was removed from office.
“You further know that impeachment would tear this country apart if it went through and he was removed from office. It would cause a political upheaval in this country [that] people in this generation have never seen before — or possible civil war,” she said.
Timmer then suggested that Amash’s call for impeachment was based not on principle, but on a desire for attention.
“You rest safe in the knowledge that that will not happen, that [Trump] won’t be removed from office,” she said.
“So you get to make the political grandstanding that raises your national profile — you are now a national household name. That’s called political capital. And you are hoping to launch your star bigger and brighter than District 3.”
“You just talked about how you did better in District 3 than Trump — do you want to talk about how the last election you got the least amount of support that you ever had because you haven’t supported the MAGA agenda?” Timmer said.
“Now that’s your right to do so. It’s your right to support whatever you want, but you also know you have no future in this district because of that, as a Republican. So you want to go bigger and brighter.”
Timmer noted that in Amash’s Twitter thread calling for impeachment, he did not mention the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants that were obtained to surveil Trump’s campaign.
“Why did you talk nothing about the FISA abuses,” she asked.
“If you care about the Constitution so much, why didn’t you say anything about the year-long violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of Trump and his entire transition team? Every phone call, every email, every personal conversation for a year was spied upon and recorded, and they had no knowledge.”
At that point in the video, Amash appears to be laughing. Timmer was not amused.
“And you are laughing. You are laughing about a year-long spying on an entire team of people — Fourth Amendments violated. And you didn’t speak about it once,” she said.
The video concludes with Timmer calling out Amash for accusing Attorney General William Barr of dishonesty.
“You called AG Barr a liar without any proof,” she said.
Although you’d think Timmer’s two-minute long diatribe would stand out, it seems multiple establishment media outlets decided to focus on other things.
“GOP impeachment champion gets a hero’s welcome back home,” Politico noted in its headline.
“Amash applauded by largely friendly crowd at town hall,” The Associated Press wrote.
CNN, meanwhile, said, “Amash greeted with standing ovation at Michigan town hall.”
Whether you agree with Amash or Timmer, it’s good to see free speech in action.
That’s good for democracy, which means it’s good for all Americans.
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