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Politics Rep. Jeff Van Drew, anti-impeachment Democrat, expected to switch parties after Trump meeting

22:35  14 december  2019
22:35  14 december  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

House Democrat says he plans to vote against all articles of impeachment

  House Democrat says he plans to vote against all articles of impeachment Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, one of two Democrats to vote against formalizing the impeachment inquiry, said he plans to vote against all the articles of impeachment "unless there's something that I haven't seen, haven't heard before."Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, one of two Democrats to vote against formalizing the impeachment inquiry, said he plans to vote against all the articles of impeachment "unless there's something that I haven't seen, haven't heard before.

Officials said Saturday that Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, a vocally anti-impeachment Democrat, will join the Republican Party in the coming days following a Friday meeting with President Trump — a move that would put a political chill on the Democrats’ expected vote to impeach Trump next week.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), seen in 2018, declared Wednesday that he was underwhelmed by a rough transcript of a call in July between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. © Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), seen in 2018, declared Wednesday that he was underwhelmed by a rough transcript of a call in July between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Two Democratic officials familiar with Van Drew’s discussions in recent days said they believe he has decided to switch parties. The White House meeting was confirmed by a Trump administration official and one of the Democratic officials.

Trump on Democrat's reported switch to GOP: 'Wow that would be big'

  Trump on Democrat's reported switch to GOP: 'Wow that would be big' President Trump early Sunday weighed in on reports that Democratic Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.), a vocal opponent of impeachment, plans to switch parties."Wow, that would be big. Always heard Jeff is very smart!" Trump said in a tweet.Wow, that would be big. Always heard Jeff is very smart! https://t.co/7yDPU4N3wd- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2019"Thank you for your honesty Jeff. All of the Democrats know you are right, but unlike you, they don't have the 'guts' to say so!" The president added in another post.Thank you for your honesty Jeff. All of the but unlike you, they don't have the "guts" to say so! https://t.

Van Drew, his chief of staff and communications director did not respond to requests for comment Saturday. 

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Van Drew, who won a previously Republican seat in 2018, has been a critical voice opposing impeachment inside the Democratic ranks, saying that the process is too divisive and comes too close to the 2020 presidential election. A member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition, Van Drew has positioned himself at the rightmost flank of his party.

Van Drew and Rep. Collin C. Peterson, a veteran Minnesota Democrat who represents a much more conservative district than Van Drew’s, were the only two Democrats to vote against a House resolution in October formalizing the impeachment inquiry.

Six resign from Rep. Jeff Van Drew's staff as Democrat plans to leave party

  Six resign from Rep. Jeff Van Drew's staff as Democrat plans to leave party They said their decision came after reports that their boss is joining the Republican Party.In a letter to his chief of staff, five of the employees said Van Drew's decision "does not align with the values we brought to this job when we joined his office.

Van Drew’s decision to oppose impeachment badly alienated Democratic voters in his district, sparking a primary challenge that badly threatened his prospects for reelection.

A polling memo obtained by The Washington Post, citing results of a Dec. 7-10 survey of likely Democratic voters commissioned by Van Drew’s campaign, found that only 24 percent believed that he should be reelected, with 58 percent wanting another Democrat nominated for the seat.

Speculation about a potential party switch has swirled for days on Capitol Hill and inside New Jersey political circles. Van Drew on Tuesday denied that he was switching parties, as he maintained that he would vote against impeachment.

“I’m not changing anything — just doing my job,” he said in a brief interview. “I’m still a Democrat, right here.”

Asked if Republicans had approached him about a party switch, he said, “I’m not talking about other people and what they’re doing.”

Van Drew, a longtime state senator, was elected last year to the South Jersey seat vacated by longtime GOP Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo, beating a GOP challenger by eight points. Trump won the district by five points in 2016 after Barack Obama won it by eight points in 2012.

mike.debonis@washpost.com

Jeff Van Drew: 'Final sign' for him to switch parties was being told he had to vote for impeachment .
New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew said the "final sign" for him to switch parties was being told that he had to vote in support of impeachment of President Donald Trump. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Van Drew recalled how he was told by a New Jersey Democratic county party chair that he would not be successful in winning reelection if he votes "no" on impeachment. "One of the county chairman came to me and said, 'I have to speak with you.

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