May 19, 2019

It appears the dam is breaking. On Sunday morning, GOP strategist Tara Setmayer joined "New Day" to defend Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) for his epic twitter thread where he flat out said that Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses.

BLACKWELL: Tara, i don't know the answer to this question. maybe you've answered this since the release of the Mueller report, but do you believe that the president's actions as illustrated in the report indicate or as he writes meet that threshold of impeachment and what are your thoughts on the congressman's writings there?

SETMAYER: Oh, without question. and, you know, most people who are intellectually honest what is going on and who actually read the Mueller Report would say the same thing. Republicans impeached Bill Clinton over way less and, you know, what Donald Trump has done and laid out meticulously in the Mueller report clearly lays out a case for impeachment.

People don't realize that Bob Mueller was unable to criminally indict the president of the United States from the very beginning. We were never going to see a criminal indictment and a fallacy we would get something like that out of this and Mueller made that clear early on come is why he laid out the obstruction of justice instances where the threshold was met many times in the Mueller report and, conclusion report in Volume One may not have raised to that level.

The willingness by the Trump campaign and his associates to play footsie with the Russians and accept stolen information to benefit their election is not okay. So as a Republican who has been very frustrated by the way the party has behaved and the way they are acquiesced to Trump's executive reach of power and executive overreach and nice to see somebody come out and say something. But Amash has always been an outlier. He is a libertarian and not popular in the rank-and file- independent minded.

BLACKWELL: Tara, let me ask you about that, then. Any indication of how close the next Republican on the spectrum is in getting to where potentially we see the congressman now? Is he going to remain that anomaly in the party or are there potentially people watching to see the reaction to him and if they will step out too?

SETMAYER: Well, I think it's clear that the Republicans have been cowards to the point they have debased themselves in unprincipled ways that I don't think a lot of us ever thought was possible to pledge to Trump because they are afraid of losing an election. Justin Amash is in Michigan where Donald Trump is not very popular. recent polls said only 31% said they would definitely vote for Trump again and 67% of Republicans and way below the 88 to 90% of support that Trump has. In Michigan he only won by 11,000 votes. Justin Amash is pretty safe in his seat there. I don't think he is worrying about losing. You'll see a lot of Republicans come out and attack him.

BLACKWELL: She (Ronna McDenial) said that anyone who is still talking about Russia collusion wants to see the president lose in 2020. The congressman didn't say anything about Russia collusion and went a different direction. I want to go a different direction about the Attorney General. He said based on his examination. He said Congressional testimony and other statements to Mueller's report it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public. He doesn't call for a consequence. The significance here -- what -- is there any influence on what we will see the Democrats do with that type of endorsement of the investigation?

LOUIS: They will certainly take it and quote it on the floor of the House and they will quote they will put it into political commercials and so forth. They are going to Baton Rouge they have been looking for, I think, any kind of a respectable Republican that they can sort of grab on to and say, look, this is not just partisanship. Michigan will or won't go into the Republican column in next year's presidential race. It's not looking so great right now. Individual representatives like Amash - he did get a local challenger. The minute this came out, a state representative in Michigan popped up and said 'I'm going to challenge him.' So he is going to have the same kind of political problems that everybody has. Keep in mind the president is at the top of the ticket.

They are all for re-election in the House of Representatives. This is their running mate. So, you know, he is taking great pains to say "I don't know if I want to be associated with what is coming down the pike for my running mate, President of the United States because what Barr has done, what is listed in the Mueller report, what is likely to come out on the campaign trail" is all going to be very difficult for Republicans.

SETMAYER: There's a history there with Amash. He consistently has been critical of Trump from the very beginning and there was a personal back and forth between Amash and Dan Scavino, who is Trump's former golf caddie and working in the White House doing his social media. Dan Scavino has gone after Amash in the past and you're not allowed to do if you're a government employee so a history of hostility toward one another from the beginning and Amash was the only Republican who was honest enough during the Michael Cohen hearing to asking Cohen a legitimate question which is what truth does Donald Trump fear most? That even took Michael Cohen aback have governor the answer to these questions and it was Justin Amash for asking that question and good enough for him doing that and for doing this.

Will Amash be the one to start a movement in the House or will he be remembered as one of the few who publicly stood up to tyranny and hate? Time will tell, but more pundits need to call out Republicans just the way Setmayer did.

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