Democrats began to attack New Jersey Democratic Representative Jeff Van Drew – whose staff has started to resign – on Sunday after reports surfaced over the weekend that Van Drew was leaving the party and joining the Republican Party.
“I think Jeff Van Drew is making a serious mistake. I understand that he feels if he votes against impeachment, he’ll lose in a Democratic primary [and] he could,” Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen (TN) told CNN on Sunday. “But you know he got elected with Democratic votes under a Democratic banner which he ran under for 30 years or so. I think he was a senator and a mayor and a representative and all, and he got Democratic money including Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee money, and to turn and go to be a Republican, it’s kind of strange.”
“I’ve heard of rats jumping off a sinking ship, but very few of them jump onto a sinking ship,” Cohen continued. “The Republicans are in the minority, for his district. Instead of having a congressman who’s in the majority and he gets something done for his district, they’re gonna have a congressman in the minority who can’t get anything done. The lowest thing that there is in the Congress is somebody in the minority side who was a traitor to the majority.”
Impeachment has broken the Democrat Party.
Dem Rep. Steve Cohen calls Rep. Van Drew a “traitor” and a “rat” for opposing the Democrats’ impeachment sham. pic.twitter.com/05xV0Rsa1S
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 16, 2019
It was reported on Saturday that Van Drew was leaving the Democratic Party over impeachment, which he said was tearing the country apart, and that he was joining the Republican Party after meeting with President Donald Trump.
CNN’s Manu Raju reported late on Sunday that at least five members of Van Drew’s staff resigned in protest over his decision to leave the Democratic Party.
“We greatly appreciate the opportunities that the Congressman has given us, and we are proud of the work we’ve done together on behalf of the people of New Jersey’s Second Congressional District,” the letter said. “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.”
“We greatly respect Congressman Van Drew and are deeply saddened and disappointed by his decision,” the letter concluded. “As such, we can no longer in good conscience continue our service in this Congressman’s employ.”
Five of Jeff Van Drew’s staff members announced their resignation Sunday after the congressman privately indicated he would switch parties, saying they are “deeply saddened and disappointed” by the decision pic.twitter.com/TnlbUakEp1
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 16, 2019
After news broke that Van Drew was switching parties, many online noted how significant a blow it was to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Federalist co-founder Sean Davis tweeted: “Nancy Pelosi isn’t just hemorrhaging votes for her impeachment gambit, she’s now facing wholesale defections from the Democrat party because of its impeachment hysteria.”
Nancy Pelosi isn't just hemorrhaging votes for her impeachment gambit, she's now facing wholesale defections from the Democrat party because of its impeachment hysteria. https://t.co/iWkH1bcous
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) December 14, 2019
House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins wrote on Twitter: “Chairman Nadler told us to consult our consciences before voting on impeachment articles, then seemingly dismisses Jeff Van Drew for doing just that. When your own party rejects your sham impeachment, you’re probably on the wrong side of history.”
Trump responded to the news by writing on Twitter: “Thank you for your honesty Jeff. All of the Democrats know you are right, but unlike you, they don’t have the ‘guts’ to say so!”
Thank you for your honesty Jeff. All of the Democrats know you are right, but unlike you, they don’t have the “guts” to say so! https://t.co/OUc46HUwPq
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2019