The Hill – Freshman Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (D-N.J.), a vocal opponent of impeachment, plans to switch parties and join the GOP after meeting with President Trump on Friday, Democratic sources told The Hill. His decision, first reported by The Washington Post, comes just a day after he had a lengthy meeting at the White House with Trump.
A former dentist, Van Drew, replaced former Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), who served 12 terms before retiring at the end of the last Congress. Adopting the historically red district, Van Drew moved quickly to distance himself from the liberal wing of the House Democratic Caucus, voting “present” during the election of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for Speaker in January and joining the conservative-leaning Blue Dog Democrats shortly thereafter.
As of this posting, Democrats are planning a next Wednesday, December 18, 2019, for a full House impeachment vote. This comes after passing out of committee that voted 23-17 along party lines. Some Democrats suggested merely censure the president, but was quickly shot down – but this could still happen – it is a fluid situation. It is hard to believe that Democrats coming all this way, would stand down now – but as support for the president grows, Democrats in purple areas are feeling the heat.
According to MSNBC, there are some 43 “vulnerable” House Democrats who are not sure to support the Democrats on the impeachment vote. No Republicans have expressed that they would cross over and support the Democrats. Of these 43 Democrats, 17 say they will support the impeachment. However, 13 don’t know or undecided, and 1 Jefferson Van Drew to vote no. That’s 31, what of the other 12? I guess MSNBC can’t count. To stop impeachment, Republicans need 17 Democrats to defect and vote no.
So right now, the impeachment vote looks certain, though three days is a lifetime in politics – depends how all this breaks down. In any case, this switch over party House member Jefferson Van Drew just shows that the impeachment efforts of the Democrats is not bipartisan and even opposed by some of their own party. A great win for Trump. See the MSNBC report here: