Until last month, no one had ever heard of Rep. Justin Amash, but his go-round with President Donald Trump has suddenly thrown the Michigan Republican’s name into the limelight.
Clip via Fox News channel
He, along with other members of the House Freedom Caucus, declined to vote for the President’s American Health Care Act, and the president is taking aim at the conservative group of lawmakers, particularly Amash, because of his vocal distaste for the bill.
Dan Scavino, the president’s social media director, threw a volley of shots at Amash, and as a result, the Trump senior advisor found himself in legal hot water.
Referring to Amash as “troll,” Scavino claimed that he was putting politics ahead of his Michigan constituents and tweeted Friday:
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) March 31, 2017
He followed this up Saturday by calling for a fellow-Republican to challenge him in the 2018 primary — and that’s what got him into trouble.
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) April 1, 2017
But by calling for a primary challenge, Scavino may have violated the Hatch Act, a law regulating campaigning by government officials.
Richard Painter, a George W. Bush White House ethics attorney, tweeted that Scavino should be discharged and the Office of Special Counsel should be alerted.
Look at the official photo on this page. Read the Hatch Act and fire this man NOW. Someone call OSC https://t.co/xTAcfIv3K3
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) April 1, 2017
Amash was also hit from another quarter. White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney, a former member of the South Carolina congressional delegation and co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, acted as a presidential intermediary, although the message was delivered by Rep. Mark Sanford.
“’The president asked me to look you square in the eyes and to say that he hoped that you voted ‘no’ on this bill so he could run (a primary challenger) against you in 2018,’” Sanford, a South Carolina Republican said Mulvaney told him, according to the Post and Courier.
Sanford added that Mulvaney only delivered the message at Trump’s insistence.
But if the Trump administration wasn’t going to take it lying down, neither did Amash, who fired back and began already making plans for his re-election.
Wake up right! Receive our free morning news blast HERE
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 1, 2017
Bring it on. I’ll always stand up for liberty, the Constitution & Americans of every background. You can help here: https://t.co/ECxQGXE5XH.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 1, 2017
And Amash found plenty of kindred spirits.
— Pro-Life Libertarian (@ProLifeLiberty) April 1, 2017
@justinamash Justin Amash is a hero.
— Joe Traina (@JoeTraina) April 1, 2017
— Rob (@Grumpy4x) April 2, 2017
The Michigan Republican also had his detractors.
@justinamash You’re going down moron..:)
— ira (@idesignwis) April 1, 2017
@justinamash Why won’t you give Trump credit for the Ford expansion announced in 2015?
— Michael J (@mike_j_adams) April 1, 2017
And at least one person urged compromise between the two camps.
@justinamash Get together with Trump & let ppl buy insurance state to state, OCare sucks & Freedom Cauc Obstructionist. You can’t have it all
— janene (@justsickoflies) April 2, 2017
The dust-up between the president and the Freedom Caucus caused Fox News host Sean Hannity to challenge the president’s assessment that Freedom Caucus was the reason the AHCA failed, and urged both sides to hear one another out.
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