WASHINGTON – A Democratic U.S. lawmaker who opposed his party’s moves to impeach President Donald Trump told staff on Saturday he will become a Republican as soon as this week, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the discussions.
New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew is one of just two Democrats who voted against setting up the impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 31.
If he changes his political party, it would be a sign of the strain the impeachment process is putting on moderate Democrats.
Trump carried Van Drew’s district in the 2016 presidential election, and Democrats in similar districts face a deluge of Republican advertising attacks over impeachment and voters who are divided on the subject.
Democrats in the House on Friday approved two charges against Trump over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden.
Trump is expected to become the third U.S. president to be impeached when the full Democratic-led House votes on the charges, likely this week, setting up a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate. Trump’s fellow Republicans have shown no signs of wanting to remove Trump from office.