Rep. Amash says he's leaving GOP after becoming 'frightened' by party politics

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By Max Burman and Allan Smith  with NBC News Politics
Image: Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich
Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich.   -   Copyright  Tom Williams CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash announced Thursday that he was leaving the GOP after growing "disenchanted" with and "frightened" by party politics.

Amash, who represents Michigan's third Congressional district, wrote in a op-ed for The Washington Post that he would remain in Congress as an independent.

"Modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral, but there is an escape," said Amash, who last month became the first congressional Republican to conclude that President Donald Trump has engaged in "impeachable conduct."

His conclusion came after he read special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, he tweeted in a widely circulated thread.

Politics

Trump hit back at Amash on Twitter at the time, calling him a "loser."

"Never a fan of @justinamash, a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy," Trump wrote at the time.