Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said on Monday that he had stepped down from the Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative members of Congress, after a conflict about his support of impeachment.
“I have the highest regard for them and they’re my close friends,” Amash told CNN.
“I didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group,” he added.
Amash became the first Republican member of Congress to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump after tweeting about his reading of the Mueller report, where he concluded that the president was guilty of obstruction of justice.
He attended the House Freedom Caucus board meeting on Monday and told the other members he would be stepping down.
“It was a positive meeting,” said Amash. “It wasn’t negative.”
Amash had expressed frustration at the direction of the group after the election of Trump in 2016. He was one of the founding members of the Freedom Caucus, and has touted his Tea Party credentials when Trump supporters questioned his loyalty to conservatism.
“I haven’t changed, I am who I said I was,” Amash said to a Trump supporter in March during his town hall event.
“I am a principled constitutional conservative who has stayed consistent regardless of whether we have President Obama in office, or President Trump,” he added.
Here’s Amash defending his decision:
Town hall gets heated when Amash calls on Trump supporter