NJ congressman against Trump impeachment — and he’s a Democrat
Freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew told NBC News he would likely not vote for the impeachment resolution introduced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday.
And while the Democrat from Cape May County has spoken out against impeachment — earning a "thank you" on Twitter from President Donald Trump — New Jersey's sole Republican in Congress has been quiet lately on the question of impeachment.
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. 4th District, has not issued a statement regarding the impeachment inquiry. A spokesman for Smith did not immediately return a message on Thursday.
House Democrats unveiled legislation authorizing the next phase of the impeachment inquiry against Trump as Democrats move to nullify complaints from Trump and his Republican allies that the impeachment process is illegitimate and unfair.
A vote on the inquiry, however, would require Democrats from swing districts like Van Drew's to take a stance on impeachment and perhaps earn the ire from Trump supporters.
Van Drew, a former state senator, represents the conservative-leaning 2nd Congressional District in South Jersey. He replaced retired Republican Frank LoBiondo in 2018 in a race against a Trump supporter who was widely criticized for making bigoted statements.
“I would imagine that I’m not voting for it,” Van Drew was quoted as saying by NBC News reporter Alex Moe.
Fox News reported that Van Drew said he had not yet seen anything "impeachable" yet.
An eight-page resolution calls for open hearings and requires the House Intelligence Committee to submit a report outlining its findings and recommendations, with a final recommendation on impeachment left to the Judiciary Committee.
Republicans would be allowed to request subpoenas, but such requests would ultimately be subject to a vote by the full committee, which Democrats control as the House majority.
Earlier in October, Van Drew told Fox Business News that he was concerned that impeachment proceedings would "not bear any fruit" and would ultimately tear the country apart.
Van Drew said the electorate can "impeach" Trump at the ballot box, a comment that Trump took note of in a Twitter post.
A spokeswoman for Van Drew did not immediately return a message seeking further comment.
The majority of the New Jersey delegation supports impeachment, including both Cory Booker and Robert Menendez in the Senate, plus House members Andy Kim, Tom Malinowski, Donald Norcross, Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell, Donald Payne Jr., Mikie Sherrill, Albio Sires, and Bonnie Watson Coleman — all Democrats.
Democrat Josh Gottheimer said he would decide on impeachment once an inquiry was completed.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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