"Hopefully, over time, [the] two parties start to fall apart," says Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan) in an interview with Reason recorded last week at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas. "I can go straight to Twitter or Facebook or elsewhere and tell people exactly what I stand for."
First elected in 2010, the libertarian congressman helped co-found the influential House Freedom Caucus, sponsored bills to cut spending and defang the National Security Agency, and took an active role in the successful effort to depose John Boehner as house majority leader.
A critic of executive power and champion of constitutionalism, the Grand Rapids native is a thorn in the side of Donald Trump, serving as one of only two GOP co-sponsors of a bill calling for an independent, investigative commission into the president's Russia-related behavior. He frequently calls out the administration on social media, and is on the receiving end of a White House call to get primaried.
This interview was recorded on July 21, 2017. A transcript is below.
Matt Welch: We're recording this on Friday afternoon. A lot of stuff has happened in the last 36 hours in Washington having to do with President Donald Trump. He gave an interview with The New York Times in which he said, if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn't hire Jeff Sessions, because Jeff Sessions recused himself of Russian investigations, he called into question the integrity of a lot of people in the Justice Department, kicked the tires on potential pardons for his kids or other people in the administration, and generally is starting to put pressure on the special counsel, Robert Mueller, "Don't get too far out of your lanes" and this type of stuff.
As someone who co-sponsored one of the two Republican … Co-sponsors, if I know this right, of a bill in Congress to investigate the or set up a special commission, what's your general reaction to this behavior over the last 36 hours?