Nancy Pelosi is not happy about this. Reports emerged over the weekend that Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ), a Democrat who has vocally opposed the impeachment process against President Donald Trump, is considering not only voting against the House Democrats’ articles of impeachment but also abandoning the party altogether.
Amid rumors that the congressman is on the verge of switching his affiliation to the Republican Party, five of Van Drew’s staffers have already given notice, Politico reported.
Five staffers resign from Van Drew’s office
The staffers who are quitting their jobs at Rep. Van Drew’s office said they were “deeply saddened and disappointed” by his reported decision to join the Republicans.
In a letter obtained by Politico, the staffers wrote, “Sadly, Congressman Van Drew’s decision to join the ranks of the Republican party led by Donald Trump does not align with the values we brought to this job when we joined his office.” The staffers added the “Trump Republicans,” in their view, were working to “aid and abet Trump as he shreds the Constitution and tears the country apart.”
Van Drew lost his communications director, two deputy chiefs, a legislative director, and a legislative staff assistant. It was rumored that the congressman could lose even more staffers in the coming days.
He did, however, retain his chief of staff, Allison Murphy, who has worked for Van Drew since his days in the New Jersey state Senate. She was reported to have attempted to persuade the congressman’s staff to stick with him through the anticipated party switch.
Van Drew plans party switch
According to Politico, Van Drew met with President Trump on Friday and began to consider making the switch then but wanted to hold off on publicly announcing the move until later. That plan was disrupted when word leaked out on Saturday after “multiple senior Democrats” were unsuccessful in convincing the congressman to reconsider.
The New Jersey Democrat, who endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-MD), has not yet confirmed the switch himself. “I have not made a decision that I’m willing to share with anybody for a short period of time,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Still, Van Drew, a freshman who flipped a Trump-won, Republican-leaning district in southern New Jersey in 2018, has already been praised by President Trump.
“Congressman Jeff Van Drew is very popular in our great and very united Republican Party. It was a tribute to him that he was able to win his heavily Republican district as a Democrat. People like that are not easily replaceable!” Trump tweeted on Monday.
Attacked by his fellow liberals
Breitbart noted that New Jersey Democrats are trying to replace him, and Van Drew has already taken heat from the party base simply for opposing the impeachment effort. Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy even went so far as to lambaste Van Drew as being “cynical and desperate” to retain his job — which Democrats were already openly plotting to take away from him — and accused him of “betraying” the values of the party and its voters.
Van Drew’s party switch has yet to be made official, but given that some of his staff have already quit and the vehemence with which his fellow Democrats are attacking him, combined with the welcoming reception from Republicans, it will likely be only a matter of days before he formally informs Pelosi of his exit from her caucus.