New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew's anticipated defection from the Democratic Party is not yet official, but he is already being labeled a "traitor" and his staff are promptly resigning.
On Saturday, multiple reports indicated that Van Drew, a career Democrat who represents New Jersey's 2nd congressional district, would officially join the Republican Party this week. He is one of two House Democrats who voted against opening the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, and has similarly indicated that he will vote against the articles of impeachment.
In response to Van Drew's party transition, five of his senior staff members resigned late Sunday.
"Sadly, Congressman Van Drew's decision to join the ranks of the Republican Party led by Donald Trump does not align with the values we brought to this job when we joined his office," the staffers wrote in a letter to Van Drew's chief of staff, Allison Murphy.
"Over the past year, Trump Republicans have sided with special interests over the needs of working people. Worse, they continue to aid and abet Trump as he shreds the Constitution and tears the country apart," they continued. "As such, we can no longer in good conscience continue our service in the Congressman's employ."
According to NBC News, a sixth staffer has also resigned, although they were not part of the letter sent to Van Drew's chief of staff.
Also on Sunday, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) verbally assaulted Van Drew during an interview on CNN, calling him a "traitor" and likening him to a "rat."
"I think Jeff Van Drew is making a serious mistake. I understand that he feels if he votes against impeachment, he'll lose in a Democratic primary — he could," Cohen said. "But you know he got elected with Democratic votes under a Democratic banner, which he ran under for 30 years or so. I think he was a senator and a mayor and a representative and all, and he got Democratic money, including Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee money. And to turn and go to be a Republican, it's kind of strange."
"I've heard of rats jumping off a sinking ship, but very few of them jump onto a sinking ship," Cohen continued. "The Republicans are in the minority. For his district, instead of having a congressman who's in the majority and he gets something done for his district, they're gonna have a congressman in the minority who can't get anything done. The lowest thing that there is in the Congress is somebody in the minority side who was a traitor to the majority."
Dem Unhinged: Dem Rep Calls Rep Van Drew A “Traitor" And A “Rat" For Opposing Dems' Impeachment Sham www.youtube.com