Rep. Jeff Van Drew hasn’t officially switched parties yet but according to sources he’s telling colleagues that he’s going to do it. The ostensible reason for Van Drew’s disenchantment with the Democratic Party is that he is opposed to the push for impeachment of President Trump. That made him very unpopular with Democrats including many of his own staffers, six of whom resigned this week. Today the Daily Beast reports that Van Drew claimed he was anti-Trump prior to a few weeks ago. He told colleagues he was against impeachment because he was convinced it would help Trump win reelection:
Behind closed doors, Van Drew has told colleagues that the president was stupid and mentally unstable—and that his opposition to impeachment stemmed from his belief that impeaching Trump would ensure his re-election, according to two Democrats present at closed-door discussions with the congressman.
A third verified Van Drew had disparaged the president in harsh terms, calling him “crazy.”
“He was almost obsessively anti-Trump,” said one of the Democrats. “His only justification, and this was adamant, was that he thinks that [impeachment] will help Trump win.”
The story goes on to say that Van Drew hasn’t even confirmed that he is switching parties yet, with the implication that he might still reverse course at the last moment. I don’t think that’s likely at this point. If he backs down now he’ll be anathema to both parties and that will be the end of his career. But he comes from a relatively red district in New Jersey that could re-elect him if he gets support from the GOP.