“Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation — and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report’s conclusions within just hours of its release,” Mr. Amash tweeted Saturday.
“Contrary to [Attorney General William P.] Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” he said. “In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence.”
We highlight Mr. Amash’s tweets not to endorse every word but to contrast his approach with that of the rest of his party. It is not too much to ask that members of Congress suppress knee-jerk partisanship and actually read a major report on the president’s behavior.
Republican after Republican who claimed to stand on principle during the Obama years has succumbed to Mr. Trump. Then-House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who betrayed the lofty ideals he often espoused in return for Mr. Trump’s cooperation in passing an upper-income tax cut, led the party in moral surrender. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has quietly acquiesced in the trashing of free trade and the diminution of congressional prerogatives. Mr. Barr, a veteran of the George H.W. Bush administration, promised to bring professionalism and order back to the Justice Department but, after gaining Senate confirmation, morphed into an aggressive defender of the president and propagator of Trumpian conspiracy theories.
Not all Republicans have totally sold out. Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), once the leader of the anti-Trump Republicans, called Mr. Amash’s statement “courageous.” But he stopped short of treating the Mueller report’s findings with the gravity they deserve.
Mr. Amash may be preparing to run for president next year on the Libertarian Party ticket. But the Libertarian nomination is not so valuable a prize that Mr. Amash’s words can be waved away as cynical, as some Republicans have tried to do. Making himself a pariah in his own party — and, as of Sunday, drawing a primary challenger in his House district — is a high price to pay for any politician. But what is the price of abandoning all principles?