A Republican lawmaker suggested on Wednesday that allegations against US President Donald Trump may be grounds for impeachment.
House Republican Justin Amash of Michigan said that it may have been an abuse of his office.
Responding to a question, Amash said Wednesday that if Trump, before firing FBI director James Comey, urged Comey to end a probe of Trump’s former adviser Michael Flynn, it could be grounds to begin the impeachment process.
He added that “everybody in this country gets a fair trial, [whether] it’s the president or anyone else.”
Amash is the first Republican lawmaker to raise the specter of impeachment. However, he has been a consistent critic of Trump, as well as an opponent of House Republican leadership, and his views are not widely representative.
On Tuesday, The New York Times was the first to report on a February memo by Comey that suggested Trump asked him to lay off Flynn. Trump later fired Comey.
Sen. Angus King, an independent, expressed similar views, telling Politico that Trump’s actions, if proved, could expose him to impeachment proceedings.
The memo could border on “the legal definition of obstruction of justice,” he said.
Flynn resigned in February, a day before Comey reportedly wrote the memo, after it emerged that he had apparently misled Vice President Mike Pence about contacts with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the US.
King, who generally votes with the Democrats, said, “We don’t want to get into the situation where we’re charging our president based on any kind of political considerations.”
The Constitution was “very clear” about the requirements that had to be fulfilled for impeachment proceedings to begin, he stressed.
Top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have asked the FBI to provide memos from Comey and for the White House to turn over any audio recordings that might exist of conversations with the now-fired director.
Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California sent the letter to the Justice Department and the White House on Wednesday. They called on the administration “to provide records of interactions with former Director Comey, including any audio recordings.”
The letter came after the Senate Intelligence Committee made a similar request for Comey’s memos. The Intelligence panel also sought his testimony in open or closed session.
Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Tuesday that the revelations about the memo were “at a point where it’s of Watergate size and scale.”