- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 21, 2019

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that Rep. Justin Amash, the first Republican in Congress to back impeachment of the president, is “out of step” with the rest of the party.

But Mr. McCarthy signaled Mr. Amash won’t face any punishment from within, suggesting he’ll have to defend himself to voters instead.

“I think when it comes to actions, I think constituents will have the final say,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Mr. Amash, a libertarian-leaning congressman from Michigan, shook fellow Republicans over the weekend with his call for impeachment.

“Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” the congressman said.

He has defended his stance on Twitter against critics, saying the president’s conduct “violates the public trust” and that’s enough to warrant removal.

President Trump has mocked Mr. Amash as insignificant.

Mr. McCarthy, meanwhile, sought to minimize him.

Justin is one person with one opinion. it’s out of step with this conference, it’s out of step with America,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Mr. Amash hasn’t gotten much backing elsewhere in the conservative movement, either.

Jason Pye, vice president of legislative affairs for FreedomWorks — a free-market pressure group — said he hasn’t read every word of the Mueller report, and he respects Mr. Amash’s libertarian thinking. Yet he disagrees with the congressman.

“The conclusions he came to, I think, are wrong,” Mr. Pye said. “That said, that’s what he’s taken from it. I wish him the best, but I just disagree.”

• Tom Howell Jr. contributed to this article.

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