Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Thursday announced he’s leaving the Republican Party and becoming an independent, months after igniting a political firestorm when he became the first sitting GOP congressman to call for an impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
“Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party,” Amash wrote in a Fourth of July op-ed for the Washington Post. “No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.”
The libertarian congressman, who said he’s become “disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what I see from it,” argued that “the two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”
Amash has fueled speculation in recent weeks that he’s planning to mount a third-party challenge to Trump, whom the Michigan lawmaker has repeatedly criticized in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on 2016 election interference.
Despite mounting pressure from fellow Republicans, Amash has remained steadfast in his position, arguing in an interview with Vox on Wednesday that the GOP is moving “toward a sense of victimization.”
In an interview with The Hill in June, Amash insisted he had no interest in playing “spoiler” in the 2020 election, saying that if he runs, he intends to win.
Asked at the time if he had made a decision on a third-party presidential run, Amash said, “I haven’t ruled anything out.”
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