Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) broke with his fellow libertarian lawmaker Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on impeachment Wednesday. Amash has called for Trump’s impeachment for alleged obstruction. After backlash, he doubled down.
Paul told HuffPost in a brief interview that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election was the “antithesis of libertarianism.”
“I actually think the libertarian position on the investigation is ― you know, libertarians, we’ve been very, very critical of the intelligence community having too much power, including congressman Amash has said, you know, really you should have to get a warrant before you get an American’s records,” Paul told the outlet.
Paul said he believed the Mueller investigation was “an abuse of intelligence power consistent with what libertarians have been complaining about for a long time.” He further said he supported an amendment offered by Amash in the House “which says you have to have a warrant before you target Americans because foreign intelligence warrants have a lower standard.”
It’s hard to understand why Amash is doing this. Perhaps it’s time for him to become a Democrat if he’s so fond of illicit spying by our government agencies.
It’s absurd for Amash to make this move since impeachment is DOA in the Senate and he’s alienating a lot of Republican voters in his district.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus, which Amash helped found, voted to condemn his remarks.
The Huffington Post quotes an anonymous Republican Senator suggesting that Amash isn’t doing this for publicity: “I’ve known him to be a pretty straight shooter. I don’t see him doing this just as a publicity stunt.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), said Amash was “just looking for attention.”
He is thinking about running for the presidency, but not as a Republican, to take votes from Trump.