Daily US Times: New Jersey’s Democratic congressman Rep. Jeff Van, Drew to announced his stand against impeaching President Trump. He is the lone congressman to step out of party line. USA TODAY first reports it citing multiple sources.
It is expected that Van Drew will announce his stand officially next week. Washington Post reported that the President approached Van Drew about switching parties during a meeting Friday. Mr Drew was elected from the South Jersey district that voted for Trump in 2016.
Drew did not make any comment about the issue yet.
In an interview with the USA TODAY last month, Drew described Trump actions regarding Ukraine as ‘unsavory’. Trump’s dealing with Ukrain lead the impeachment against him. Congress accused him of abusing his power asking Ukrain President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.
In that interview Drew opposes impeachment because it would divide the nation.
‘It isn’t because I’m a tremendous defender of the President. It isn’t because I’m going to turn Republican. It isn’t because I am Republican or shilling for Republicans. It is because I think impeachment is a very, very serious issue’, he said.
He dismissed all the criticism from progressives in his district that his defection was helping the GOP.
He added ‘I have always been a Democrat. But our job is to represent the American people.’
Van Drew is facing backlash from Democratic voters in his own district form his decision. It seems his decision may destroy his reelection chances.
Poll shows, only 24% of Democratic primary voters in his district thought Van Drew should be reelected. Sixty per cent wanted someone new.
71% of Democratic primary voters said they would be ‘less likely’ vote Mr Drew in 2020 if he doesn’t vote along party line in the impeachment process. Drew said he would be a Democratic despite opposing to impeach Trump.
‘I’m proud to be a Democrat. I’ve never been anything but. .. I’ve always been a Democrat. But our job is to represent the American people’, he said.
New Jersey’s Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy slammed Drew’s decision as ‘cynical and desperate’.
Murphy said ‘Jeff Van Drew has chosen his political career over our Constitution. Despite knowing full well that the President has abused the powers of his office, Congressman Van Drew is now willing to enable Donald Trump just to try to salvage his own election.’