News & Politics

Amash on Impeachment: You Can't 'Criminally Indict a Sitting President' But...

(Carly Geraci/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group via AP)

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said he believes that a sitting U.S. president cannot be “criminally” indicted but he supports impeaching President Trump due to his conduct outlined in volume two of Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“I don’t believe you can criminally indict a sitting president — I think that’s what the founders believed,” Amash said during a town hall event in Grand Rapids on Tuesday.

Amash said volume two of Mueller’s report presents several “elements” of obstruction of justice, adding that Mueller left a decision on obstruction to Congress.

“Impeachment is a special form of indictment. It is not a criminal indictment,” Amash said. “I’m confident that if you read Volume II, you’ll be appalled at much of the conduct and I was appalled by it and that’s why I stated what I stated — that’s why I came to that conclusion, because we can’t let conduct like that go unchecked.”

A Vietnam veteran in the audience applauded Amash for his courage and many attendees stood up and clapped in response.

A woman asked Amash what he envisions as the next steps after his public support for impeachment.

“I do think it’s appropriate for the speaker to proceed with an inquiry and to proceed with hearings and other things. Well, the speaker is really in charge of the House and the speaker will make that determination,” Amash said. “No matter what any individual member of Congress wants to do, if the speaker is not on board, the thing is not happening and that’s true under Paul Ryan and it’s true under Nancy Pelosi, so I think it would be appropriate to proceed with that.”