Jeff Van Drew

Trump Announces Former Democrat Congressman Is Joining the Republican Party

President Donald Trump announced Rep. Jeff Van Drew would be joining the Republican Party, as the former Democrat congressman stood alongside the president in the Oval Office.

Drew met with Trump on Friday and joined him at the White House on Thursday, The Washington Post reported.

Trump reportedly urged Van Drew to switch parties.

MORE: Democratic Congressman Who Opposes Impeachment Will Leave Party, Become Republican

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Van Drew was expected to make announcement this week, as the House prepared to vote on impeachment.


While Van Drew has called President Trump’s conduct in relation to his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “unsavory,” he has repeatedly said he did not see evidence that would justify his removal from office. Van Drew was one of just two House Democrats to oppose the House’s Oct. 31 vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry.

In an interview with USA Today last month, Van Drew said of impeachment: “To some folks, that’s reminiscent of what was done to kings and queens many years ago. Everything our country doesn’t stand for.”

He told reporters last week: “It was supposed to be bipartisan, it was supposed to be incontrovertible. It was supposed to be something that was always on the rarest of circumstances. Well it’s not bipartisan.”

According to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight, VanDrew, a moderate freshman Democrat, has otherwise voted mostly with his party leadership and against Trump. But he sided with the president when the House voted in June to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress over the 2020 Census citizenship question.

Last month, Van Drew, a moderate freshman Democrat, said more than once that his opposition to impeachment would not cause him to switch parties.

However, the position has cost him support in his district, which voted for Trump for nearly five points in 2016. A poll leaked by his campaign showed that only 24 percent of Democratic primary voters supported him, with 60 percent in favor of a new candidate. Fully 71 percent said they would be less likely to vote for him if he opposed the charges against Trump.

MORE: As House Votes to Impeach Trump, Americans Raucously Cheer for Him the Moment It Happens

Van Drew has also been at odds with Democrats in his home state over other issues, including his support for gun rights.

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