Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) said Tuesday that he will likely vote against a resolution by House Democrats to formalize their secret impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, prompting more uncertainly around whether Thursday’s expected vote will go on as planned.
Asked by NBC News reporter Alex Moe if he supports the measure, Van Drew replied: “I would imagine that I’m not voting for it.” Van Drew, whose district President Trump won in 2016, is among roughly a dozen House Democrats who oppose the impeachment inquiry. “I have long maintained the position that the impeachment or potential impeachment would not be good for Democrats or Republicans,” the lawmaker told Fox News in September.
New Jersey Democrat Jeff Van Drew says he will likely vote against impeachment process resolution. https://t.co/SVU0JwnDxZ
— Ryan Hutchins (@ryanhutchins) October 29, 2019
The House announced Monday that it will move Thursday to determine whether to establish impeachment inquiry procedures into President Trump. The text of the resolution was not immediately released, but House Rule Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) said it would “provide a clear path forward” on the impeachment inquiry.
However, even before Van Drew’s comments, House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) had already poured some cold water on plans to vote for the measure Thursday, telling reporters on Capitol Hill: “We’re going to have to consider whether or not it’s ready to go on Thursday. I hope that’s the case.”
Pelosi wrote in a letter Monday that the resolution was not legally necessary but the House decided to take the vote “to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives.”
“For weeks the president, his counsel in the White House and his allies in Congress have made the baseless claim that the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry ‘lacks the necessary authorization for a valise impeachment proceeding.’ They argue that, because the House has not taken a vote, they may simply pretend the impeachment inquiry does not exist,” the speaker wrote.
Pelosi’s decision to formalize the impeachment inquiry followed weeks of pressure on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) from Republicans to bring transparency to the closed proceedings. Republicans have accused Schiff and his Democrat colleagues of selectively leaking excerpts of witnesses’ testimony conducted inside Capitol Hill’s SCIF room, known as a sensitive compartmented information facility. On Wednesday, nearly 30 House Republicans attempted to storm the chamber as Laura Cooper, a top Department of Defense official, was scheduled to testify.
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a resolution condemning the Democrats’ secret impeachment and count 50 Republicans as cosponsors of the measure.