House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) may be rushing headlong toward impeaching President Donald Trump — but the caucus is not as united in the effort as Pelosi and some in the media have suggested.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ), one of two Democrats to vote against the initial authorization of the impeachment inquiry, just confirmed to CNN that, as of now, he intends to vote against any articles of impeachment brought up by the House, Breitbart reported Thursday.
“Nobody ever forces me”
In a statement to CNN’s senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju on Thursday, Van Drew said he plans to vote against any articles of impeachment that are put forward against Trump, barring any new information.
“Unless there’s something, again, that I haven’t seen, haven’t heard before, that has been my position, for reasons that I’ve staked out, for numerous reasons,” the congressman, a freshman from a district Trump won in 2016, said.
In a separate interview with The Hill on Friday, Van Drew again expressed his belief that, based on all that is known at this time, impeachment is not warranted against the president.
“I’ll look at new information that’s presented. I’ll always have an open mind. But where I am now is where I was before,” Van Drew said.
According to The Hill, Van Drew has been catching heat from some Democrats in his district who demand his support for impeachment, but to that, the congressman says: “Nobody ever forces me how to vote.”
“Tearing the country apart”
Of course, Van Drew isn’t alone in standing apart from the bulk of his party on impeachment. The Hill noted that the congressman was joined in his initial opposition to the inquiry by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), who also represents a district Trump won by a significant margin. Peterson has yet to indicate how he’ll vote on the seemingly inevitable articles, however.
Moreover, freshman Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), who flipped a district Trump won last year, has said “can’t say” if he’ll vote for impeachment “until I actually see it,” The Hill reported.
According to WCAU, an NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, freshman Rep. Max Rose (D-NY), who barely won a Trump-carried district on Staten Island, is also shying away from impeachment.
“I’m uncomfortable until I see the articles,” he said. “That’s the most important thing. When you can see the articles, that’s when one can entertain whether one’s comfortable or not.”
Citing the likelihood of the Republican-controlled Senate acquitting Trump in an impeachment trial, Van Drew was also concerned that Trump would feel vindicated by the acquittal and that the whole process would end up “tearing the country apart,” according to WCAU.