Democrat Jeff Van Drew, who opposes impeaching Trump, is reportedly in talks to switch to the Republican Party

hhoffower@businessinsider.com (Hillary Hoffower)
Jeff Van Drew

Mel Evans/AP

New Jersey Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew is thinking about switching to the Republican party as Democrats are on the brink of impeaching the president, Jonathan Martin and Nick Corasaniti reported for The New York Times.

Two Democrats and one Republican told The Times that Van Drew was in talks with President Donald Trump's senior advisers about getting his support. These conversations heightened last week when Van Drew expressed concern over losing his seat in the Democratic primary or general election, Martin and Corasaniti wrote.

The New Jersey lawmaker could make the announcement as early as next week, The Times reported, in concert with the House voting on whether to impeach a president for the third time in US history. 

Van Drew, a moderate Democrat, was first elected to his seat in 2018. He hails from a southern New Jersey district, which Trump won by just over four percentage points in 2016.

House Democrats are poised to impeach Trump before Christmas after the House Judiciary Committee on Friday voted to pass two articles of impeachment against the president. But Van Drew opposes taking such a historic action against Trump, citing concerns over dividing the country.  

"I don't see anything there worthy of actually taking a president out of office," Van Drew said earlier this week, USA Today's Christal Hayes reported. He added: "I'm concerned about splitting our nation apart."

Van Drew is also one of only two Democrats in the House who voted "no" on a resolution formalizing the body's impeachment inquiry into Trump, Insider's Eliza Relman reported in late October. There are 234 House Democrats total.

"I understand certain things said by the president can make people feel uncomfortable," Van Drew told The Press of Atlantic City. "At the same time, it's also been clear we have a year until an election."

After the vote, Van Drew released a statement arguing that the impeachment inquiry will "further divide the country." 

"Without bipartisan support I believe this inquiry will further divide the country tearing it apart at the seams and will ultimately fail in the Senate," he said. "However, now that the vote has taken place and we are moving forward I will be making a judgment call based on all the evidence presented by these investigations." 

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