Justin Amash Is Paying the Price for Criticizing Trump

Illustration for article titled Justin Amash Is Paying the Price for Criticizing Trump
Photo: Carolyn Kaster (AP)

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash recently became the first congressional Republican to say that President Donald Trump had participated in “impeachable conduct.” His week since has been less than great, to say the least.


Since Amash’s comments, he’s been unanimously condemned by his fellow members in the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, which he helped start back in 2015. He’s also picked up a primary challenger, Michigan state Rep. Jim Lower. And today, the Detroit News reported that one of Amash’s biggest financial backers, the DeVos family—yes, as in Betsy—has cut off financial backing to the Republican, who was first elected in 2010.

DeVos family spokesperson—what, doesn’t your family have one of those?—Nick Wasmiller told the News that the family had decided to abandon its financial backing of Amash prior to his comments. Trashing the boss of a fellow family member probably didn’t help matters.


Per the Detroit News:

“Family members have expressed increasing concerns about a lack of representation for their district, the Third Congressional, and I would say an inability to advance efforts connected to important policy matters,” he said.

Recent comments by Amash “have not changed the family’s thinking regarding its intent to not provide future support,” Wasmiller added.

We’ve reached out to Amash’s office for a response to the family, and will update with any response we receive.

Losing financial backing from the DeVos family is no small dilemma for the libertarian Amash, who previously survived a primary challenge in 2014. The News noted that Amash received $65,000 from various members of the family during that race, along with another $24,000 in 2018. Days after he announced his first run, current Education Sec. Betsy DeVos endorsed him as a “really smart reflective state representative” and a “really fresh and long-overdue voice that needs to be heard and represented at a federal level.”


For anyone who’s been wondering why more Republicans won’t go on the record against Trump, this is a pretty good example of why: donors will abandon you and you’ll instantly put your re-election in jeopardy, as former Rep. Mark Sanford can attest. Given the speculation that Amash might abandon Congress altogether and make a run for president as a libertarian, though, maybe he just doesn’t care.

As for his opponent, however, he’s already stumbled ass-backwards out of the gate this week. As the News reported on Wednesday, Lower initially claimed on his campaign website that he paid his whole way through college; that was before a friend and brother of former Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley pointed out on Facebook that his own father had helped with Lower’s tuition.


Lower apologized and removed his bio from his website, saying through a campaign spokesperson that the elder Calley had given him a $10,000 loan that was later forgiven and that Lower had paid for the rest of his six-figure education by himself. Guess those bootstraps won’t get you all the way back on your feet after all.

News editor, Splinter

Share This Story

Get our newsletter