Democratic Congressman Blasts Impeachment Hearings, Says Some Democrats Having 'Second Thoughts'

One of two Democratic congressmen who voted against the House impeachment inquiry compared the hearings to something from "Third World nations," arguing that the process is "supposed to be fair."

New Jersey Democrat Jeff Van Drew appeared on Fox Nation Monday with host Maria Bartiromo and ridiculed the impeachment process against President Donald Trump as something that is "fracturing the nation." Last month, Van Drew and Minnesota's Collin Peterson were the only two Democrats to break rank with House party members and vote against the resolution that set the rules for the impeachment inquiry.

Van Drew claimed many Democrats in moderate districts are quietly having second thoughts about pushing the impeachment process. He also said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has so far presented only "hearsay" and that some Democrats and Americans have grown "bored" with the investigation.

"We have to understand, impeachment is something that's supposed to be exceptionally unusual. It is supposed to be bipartisan. It is supposed to be fair," Van Drew said on Maria Bartiromo's Insiders.

Peterson, who has long expressed his desire to "get things done" and pass bipartisan bills in Congress, said his vote against pursuing impeachment had nothing to do with an opinion about the president.

"This has nothing to do with whether you like Donald Trump, or don't like him, or want to see him have a second term or win in an election. This has to do with the institution of impeachment itself and not misusing it," Van Drew said. "There is some discussion among some [Democrats] quietly, privately, of concern, certainly. I mean, what I'm hearing in the street with most people is they're tired, they're kind of worn out, they're bored, and they really want to move on."

Van Drew said the reason he ran to represent New Jersey's southernmost district, the 2nd, was to deal with issues like health care, prescription drugs, election security, the debt, and the deficit. He said, "We're going to have the election next year" and added that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should have held off on proceeding with impeachment. "Let's just have the election."

In 2018, Van Drew won his seat in a New Jersey district that Trump took in the 2016 election by 4.6 points, despite Hillary Clinton winning the overall state by a margin of 14 points.

"At the end of the day, we'll have the same president and same candidate and a failed impeachment process, and the only difference would be that the president will have been exonerated of charges," Van Drew said in a statement to Fox News at the time.

He reiterated that the impeachment process should only be used sparingly. He cited French political writer Alexis de Tocqueville's 19th-century observation that if America consistently impeached its leaders, it would indicate the "deterioration of the nation."

"It is so rarely used, should be rarely used. And as I've mentioned to you before, it is something that during the hundreds of years of American history has never been successfully used," Van Drew said. "[It's] more like something you would see in Europe or Third World nations."

He urged Pelosi to pursue "real issues" in the remaining 14 days of the congressional period, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on trade.

"There are three or four major issues where the president, the speaker, the Senate all agree on, [like] USMCA. We can really get that done. Other issues as well that they agree on.... Infrastructure. We could get that done."

As for other Democrats voting to impeach Trump, Van Drew said he is skeptical about the outcome. He said he plans to vote no when the House makes its decision, which is likely to occur sometime in December.

"I don't know how they're going to vote on impeachment, and that's going to fascinate me as well, because some folks sort of change their mind a little bit during the...inquiry process. What I do know is there are many good moderate Democrats that truly want to get things done, that do want to be bipartisan," he added.

Van Drew's comments about wanting a bipartisan impeachment process was touted on social media by several top GOP officials, including Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

jeff van drew democrat impeachment
Democratic Representative Jeff Van Drew says the impeachment process against President Donald Trump is "fracturing the nation." Screenshot: Fox Insider