The United States Constitution dictates:
"The House of Representatives ... shall have the sole Power of Impeachment." ~ Article I, Section 2, Clause 5
The permission of the President, the Senate or the minority party in the House is not required to proceed with impeachment despite GOP and White House claims to the contrary.
The power to impeach has only been used for a President twice in United States history—for Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. President Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.
Despite historical precedent and constitutional backing, segments of the Republican Party have gone to extraordinary measures to try to disrupt and discredit the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump for a laundry list of so-called violations. But a former Republican—who left the party in July 2019 over his party's embrace of Trump—has called foul on the shenanigans and misinformation.
Representative Justin Amash of Michigan—now an independent—took to Twitter to admonish his fellow members of Congress. And to advise them to consider how history will judge them.
"This president will be in power for only a short time, but excusing his misbehavior will forever tarnish your name. To my Republican colleagues: Step outside your media and social bubble. History will not look kindly on disingenuous, frivolous, and false defenses of this man."
People concurred with the Michigan Congressman's assessment and advice.
While some posited the sound advice would fall on deaf ears. And some—like Amash—also left the GOP as a result.
Others felt the ride or die Trump support offered voters important insights.
Amash earned respect for his stance and integrity from some, despite largely differing with him on politics.
The President did have a few supporters in the comments, although their message seemed awash in the type of conspiracy theories Amash advised against.
The Congressman's message referred to the actions of several GOP members of the House who earned themselves the moniker MAGA minions for their actions to derail the impeachment inquiry. Appearing on news broadcasts, the House floor and posting on Twitter, the GOP group earned accolades from Trump supporters and derision from other members of Congress and an informed public for the inaccuracy of their claims.
As Amash pointed out in his advice, the lies and grandstanding play well to a base unfamiliar with constitutional law or the rules of Congress. But a reflective, informed gaze back to this moment will not be as kind.