After the House impeachment vote yesterday, one of the two Democrats who voted against impeachment on both articles has made it official that he’s switching sides to the Republican party.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey had met with President Trump last week and had been seriously considering becoming a Republican after witnessing the impeachment sham put on by Democrats.
Now, he has finalized his decision with a handshake with President Trump, telling him,
“You have my undying support. And always.”
President Trump called Van Drew a “tremendous asset to the party.”
Check out the breaking news on Twitter:
Watch the video of Trump welcoming Jeff Van Drew to the GOP here:
Fox News has more to say on Van Drew officially switching sides:
The congressman, one of just a few Democrats who voted against impeaching Trump on Wednesday, explained his reason for the party switch.
"This is just a better fit for me," he said. "There were other times in my life when I thought about this."
Trump and Van Drew shook hands, with Trump calling him a "tremendous asset to the party," and telling Van Drew "I'm with you all the way."
"I'm with you," Van Drew said in response.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., added, "He’s going from the majority to the minority. That doesn't happen."
Vice President Pence thanked Van Drew for his “common sense,” saying “your district will be as grateful as we are.”
Rumblings of a possible party switch in the midst of Democrat-led impeachment proceedings against Trump caused members of Van Drew's caucus to accuse him of clamoring to cross the aisle in an attempt to save his bid for reelection and forced 5 aides from his office to resign.
The Hill also said:
President Trump met with Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.) at the White House on Thursday and announced that the Democrat would switch parties and become a Republican.
“Jeff will be joining the Republican Party,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday afternoon, after teasing a “very big announcement.”
Van Drew told Trump he has his “undying support.”
“I believe that this is just a better fit for me. This is who I am. It’s who I always was but there was more tolerance of moderate Democrats, Blue Dog Democrats or conservative Democrats. And I think that’s gone away,” Van Drew said.
“You have my undying support. Always,” Van Drew told Trump.
The president then endorsed Van Drew, shaking his hand.
“I’m endorsing him, OK? We’re endorsing him. I can’t speak for these two gentlemen, but I can say I’m endorsing him,” Trump said, gesturing to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Vice President Mike Pence, who joined him in the room.
McCarthy and Pence also pledged their support for the new Republican.
The meeting in the Oval Office came one day after the House voted nearly strictly around party lines to approve two articles of impeachment against Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Van Drew, who voted as a Democrat on Wednesday evening, was one of three Democrats who defected and voted against one or both of the articles. Republicans were unanimous in opposition to impeachment, something Trump has cheered in the wake of the historic vote.