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Justin Amash steps down from House Freedom Caucus

Republican calls for Congress to impeach Trump
Michigan congressman calling for Congress to impeach Trump 02:09

Rep. Justin Amash, the only Republican arguing President Trump's conduct as outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller's report constitutes impeachable offenses, is stepping down from the conservative House Freedom Caucus, his office confirmed to CBS News. 

Amash, one of the early members of the caucus forged in principles of limited government, told CNN he didn't want to be a "distraction." Always an outspoken member of the caucus, Amash's case for impeachment had alienated him from many members of the caucus, who expressed frustration with Amash's stance on the matter. 

The Michigan Republican has only doubled down on his stance that the president's actions were impeachable, making his case in a town hall and elaborating on his views in lengthy Twitter threads. 

A primary challenger to Amash announced his candidacy shortly after Amash offered his views on impeachment. But Amash isn't ruling out running for president in 2020 on a third-party ticket. 

The House Freedom Caucus was formed in 2015 and was pivotal in the resignation of then-Speaker of the House John Boehner. Since then, it's gained a reputation for causing a stir within more establishment mainstream party politics, and more recently, for vigorously defending the president and his policies.

— CBS News' Stephen Sanchez contributed to this report. 

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