Congressmen Van Drew and Kim Split on Impeachment Inquiry

By Rick Mellerup | Oct 02, 2019
Congressmen Van Drew and Kim

Washington, D.C. —

President Donald Trump thanking a Democrat is about as rare as an a large meteorite crashing into the Earth’s surface.

But it happened on Sunday evening when Trump got on Twitter and thanked Congressman Jeff Van Drew, the Democrat who represents New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes all of Southern Ocean County except half of Stafford Township and all of Barnegat Township.

Van Drew, a frequent guest on Fox News, had appeared on “Fox and Friends” on Sunday morning. He said he hadn’t seen evidence of a true impeachable offense, stressing that Democrats should instead focus on solving the country’s problems such as veterans issues, Social Security and Medicare, the nation’s debt and infrastructure.

“Let the people impeach,” said Van Drew. “We are going to have an election very shortly.”

“Let the people vote,... we are going to have an Election very shortly,” Trump tweeted, quoting Van Drew. “Rep. Jeff Van Drew, Democrat of New Jersey. @foxandfriends Thank you. Just another Witch Hunt by Nancy Peolosi and the Do Nothing Democrats!”

Later that evening Van Drew told the Philadelphia Inquirer he wasn’t defending Trump but sees little chance of the Republican-controlled Senate removing the president from office. In the meantime, nothing will be accomplished in Congress. “I want to get stuff done,” said Van Drew, a moderate-to-conservative Democrat who is a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.

Van Drew is one of just 12 House Democrats who have still not joined 223 colleagues and one Independent in supporting the impeachment inquiry. A simple majority of 218 of 435 House votes would be required to impeach Trump, but remember, supporting an inquiry isn’t the same as actually voting yes on impeachment. In other words, at this time it appears the vote is likely to be extremely close, making every member’s decision important.

Southern Ocean County’s other Congressman, Democrat Andy Kim, who represents New Jersey’s 3rd District, including half of Stafford and all of Barnegat, joined the tide of Democrats who decided it was time to get serious about Trump’s impeachment after the news broke of the President’s July phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked Zelenzky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Kim jumped in the water last Tuesday when he released a statement:

“During my time working at the White House National Security Council, I sat in the Oval Office for a number of phone calls with world leaders. I never could have imagined the Commander in Chief on a call putting personal and political gain above our national security.

“I believe the Commander in Chief role is the most sacred responsibility of the Presidency, and it is the last place where partisan politics belongs. We hold this highest of standards because we know the incredible power of that singular office. It is a power that has the potential for doing incredible good, but if corrupted, it weakens America’s national security, international standing and the framework of our very democracy.

“By urging the Ukrainian government to take action to influence our democracy, Trump has violated that power and the trust of the American people. If the facts are corroborated, that violation, and my understanding of its implications, has led me to come to the conclusion that the President has committed an impeachable offense.”

Kim went on to say his decision did not come easily. He said he’d rather help break through “hyperpartisanship” and work across the aisle to lower healthcare and prescription drug costs, lower taxes and support veterans. But, said Kim, “It is our duty in Congress to hold the President accountable if that sacred responsibility laid out in the Constitution is violated. The President’s actions and our obligation to the Constitution has led me to this conclusion, and I will work with my colleagues to pursue the truth and defend our Democracy.”

Rick Mellerup

 

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