News

White House

Freshman Dem Jeff Van Drew to Switch Parties over Impeachment

Jeff Van Drew (vandrewforcongress.com)

New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew, one of the two Democrats to vote against moving forward with the impeachment inquiry in October, is planning to switch parties over an impending House vote, according to multiple reports.

Van Drew, a first-time representative who flipped a district Trump carried by five points in 2016, denied earlier this week that he was considering a party switch, but confirmed he would ultimately vote against impeachment.

“I’m not changing anything — just doing my job,” he said in a brief interview on Tuesday. “I’m still a Democrat, right here.” He also told constituents as recently as November 21 that he was not switching, according to an account of a telephone town hall he had.

Van Drew met with Trump on Friday to discuss a potential switch following news that moderate Democrats may float a censure proposal in lieu of supporting impeachment or may even defect from the caucus over the vote, which is expected this coming Wednesday. The president reportedly blessed the move, and Van Drew told aides on Saturday that he intended to become a Republican as soon as next week.

Trump tweeted a little after midnight Saturday, seemingly confirming the switch.

Van Drew did not return multiple calls and other overtures from senior Democrats and state officials, who poured millions into his 2018 race to help Van Drew win a seat Republicans had held for the previous 24 years.

But Van Drew’s stance on impeachment had drawn heavy criticism from local New Jersey Democrats and drove poor polling numbers. Already considered a top Republican target for 2020, Van Drew recently received a polling memo which showed that 71 percent of Democrat primary voters would be less likely to support his re-election if he opposed impeachment against Trump.

He had also reportedly sought a letter of support from county leaders, but was strongly rebuked in a letter from Michael Suleiman, the Atlantic County chairman, who implored him to vote for impeachment.

Following news of the imminent switch, Suleiman called Van Drew a “coward.”

“It’s one thing to vote against impeachment, but instead of owning up to his constituents and explaining to them why he’s doing what he’s doing, he’s now decided to just completely abandon the Democratic Party and switch,” Suleiman said. “It’s just unconscionable.”

Other Democrats chimed in with more criticism.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy called Van Drew’s switch “cynical and desperate.”

“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,” Murphy said Saturday in a statement.

On Sunday, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) pointed to Van Drew’s polling numbers as the main reason.

“What he’s reacting to is public polling that shows he can’t get renominated,” Nadler told ABC’s This Week. “His electorate in his district is 24 percent to renominate him and 60 percent to nominate somebody else.”

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More
Science & Tech

The Latest Pandemic Threat

I’m worried about the new coronavirus that has broken out in China and spread, albeit as of now in isolated cases, to other countries. Fortunately, the CDC has assessed that the risk of a major outbreak in the United States is low. I hope the risk is indeed low, because the stakes are very high, particularly ... Read More
Science & Tech

The Latest Pandemic Threat

I’m worried about the new coronavirus that has broken out in China and spread, albeit as of now in isolated cases, to other countries. Fortunately, the CDC has assessed that the risk of a major outbreak in the United States is low. I hope the risk is indeed low, because the stakes are very high, particularly ... Read More