At least one Republican has joined with Democrats to criticize President-elect Trump's choice of Jeff Sessions to lead the Justice Department. On Friday afternoon, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., tweeted that he was "deeply concerned" about the pick.
"Unlike the CIA director, the [Attorney General] has a lot of independent policy authority and prosecutorial discretion. I'm deeply concerned about Sessions," Amash tweeted Friday.
That reproach from the consistently prickly Michigan libertarian isn't unprecedented. But the rebuke is notable because of its author and timing. While the relevance of the Freedom Caucus comes into question and Republicans fall over themselves to compliment the incoming executive, Amash is being critical.
While he won't have any part to play in Session's confirmation process, he's familiar with the danger of a wayward attorney general. With a seat on the Oversight and Government reform committee, he was a vocal critic during the investigation of Attorney General Eric Holder.
In the wake of the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, Amash said that he could "think of a lot of good reasons for Eric Holder to resign but no good reasons for him to remain in office." And when Holder stepped down after being held in contempt of Congress, Amash called on Senate Republicans to oppose his successor, Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Amash's office could not be reached for further comment. But it's not hard to detail some of the broad stroke difference that he has with Sessions. The Alabama nominee for attorney general opposes an overhaul of prison sentences and embraces the ongoing war on drugs, both issues on which Amash disagrees.
Some might dismiss Amash's criticism as the complaints of a grouchy libertarian, a wayward member of Congress angry about everything. That's fair. But consider the following: every county in Amash's district went hard for Trump and, so far, not a single Freedom Caucus member has criticized the choice.
The relevance of the conservative troupe has been thrown into limbo by Trump's election. Their power comes from obstruction and with a Republican in the White House it's not clear how often they'll play that card. Trump likes to boast about making deals, there's little to stop a Trump administration from reaching over conservatives and across the aisle.
So far, the faction that plotted Paul Ryan's demise has welcomed a less conservative president with mostly open arms. But rather than staying silent, at least Amash is saying something.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.