by Evie Fordham
Republican Michigan Rep. Justin Amash joined with Democrats on the House Oversight Committee to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress Wednesday.
Amash was the lone Republican to vote to hold them in contempt for failing to comply with subpoenas related to the contentious citizenship question that the Trump administration wants to add to the 2020 census, reported CBS News.
The Department of Justice sent a letter announcing its plans to invoke executive privilege Wednesday morning, so the committee chair, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, delayed the vote until the afternoon according to CBS Morning.
The Supreme Court is considering the question of whether the government may add the citizenship question to the census form. The Trump administration blasted accusations that senior government officials used deception to hide the origins of the citizenship question.
Wednesday’s vote was Amash’s latest break with his party. Amash resigned Monday from the House Freedom Caucus even though he was one of its founding members. Amash cited his efforts to not be “a further distraction for the group,” presumably after he said on May 18 that President Donald Trump “engaged in impeachable conduct” related to the special counsel’s investigation.
The congressman’s heightened public persona comes as some libertarians try to convince him to mount a third-party challenge to Trump, reported MLive.com. Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, which Amash represents, went for Trump by nearly 10 points in the 2016 presidential election, according to The Washington Post.
Amash has not taken any official steps toward impeachment. Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib invited him to co-sponsor an impeachment resolution with her on May 18.
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