Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, one of two Democrats to vote against formalizing the impeachment inquiry, said he plans to vote against all the articles of impeachment “unless there’s something that I haven’t seen, haven’t heard before.”
He warned Democrats to “be careful what you wish for” and he added that impeachment “is tearing the nation apart. … And I want to bring people together.”
Van Drew, whose district voted for Trump in 2016, said he would have preferred a censure vote on Trump so they could “move on.” Van Drew was first elected in 2018, winning a seat that was previously GOP controlled.
Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, the other Democrat who also opposed the inquiry, was also asked if he’d vote to impeach.
“I don’t have an idea what they’re doing,” Peterson said.
Moderate Democrats, particularly those in Trump-leaning districts, resisted moving forward on an impeachment inquiry throughout much of the year, as liberal Democrats pushed for Congress to take up special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to launch an impeachment inquiry. That all changed in September when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a narrow impeachment inquiry to investigate the Ukraine allegations, and nearly every House Democrat publicly backed it.
Pelosi at a news conference on Thursday morning dismissed the notion she was concerned about her moderates facing blowback for impeachment.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with politics,” she said.
A simple majority is needed to impeach in the House where Democrats have a 233-197 advantage. Although it is a long shot, more moderate Democrats may choose to follow Van Drew’s lead and vote against it now that the investigation and charges seem to have broadened in scope from what Pelosi lead them to believe.
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