NORTH WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — An expert believes a Democratic congressman from New Jersey made the right political move by not towing the party line during the impeachment process. New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew is one of two Democrats to vote against the process of impeaching President Donald Trump.
“First of all, I think it will fail,” Van Drew said.
For the last week, Van Drew has been in the national spotlight.
“It is profoundly significant when you disenfranchise a voter. In other words, when you say to voters, ‘I’m going to take your vote away,’ and removed somebody from office,” Van Drew said.
Van Drew says he’s not convinced the investigation into Trump’s alleged Ukraine misconduct has produced evidence of a high crime or treason.
“There are some things that the president said that we don’t feel comfortable with,” the congressman explained. “That doesn’t mean that he gets impeached.”
Van Drew believes the impeachment effort will further divide the country and will ultimately fail in the Republican-controlled Senate. He admits his stance is unusual and knows some constituents find it confusing.
“If you’re a Democrat, wouldn’t you want a Republican out?” one person said.
“Maybe he’s got something hiding,” another said.
Whether you believe Van Drew is right or wrong not to support impeachment, experts say it’s the right political move.
“The polling numbers show there’s not a lot of support in South Jersey for impeachment,” John Froonjian, interim director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University, said.
Froonjian, who conducts political polls, says while Democrats may complain about Van Drew, they’re unlikely to vote him out during a primary election next year. On the contrary, voting to proceed with impeachment could cost Van Drew a critical chunk of his supporters.
“I think his bigger concern is the fact that he has always attracted Republican voters and his concern is losing those Republican votes,” Froonjian said.
Van Drew believes he’s helping the country by not supporting the process of impeaching Trump.
“I believe I’m helping the country, I really do,” Van Drew said. “And I know that’s kind of a grandiose statement to make. I want to bring this country together.”
Van Drew says he remains open to impeachment if a bombshell against Trump is revealed but, so far, he’s sticking with his stance — leave keeping or removing to Trump to voters next November.