Rep. Jeff Van Drew. Photo: Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post/Getty Images
As the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump barrels on full speed ahead, at least 7 of the 235 Democrats in the House are continuing to hold out or openly criticize their party for pursuing impeachment, according to NBC News.
The big picture: All 7 holdouts represent districts that Trump won in the 2016 presidential election, and most are freshmen lawmakers elected in the 2018 midterms. They consider their seats vulnerable and fear that impeachment will cost their party its House majority in the 2020 elections, despite polls showing that public support for impeaching Trump is rising.
What they're saying: Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) has become one of the Democratic Party's most vocal opponents to impeaching President Trump.
- "Everybody says, 'Be on the right side of history' — I think the right side of history is not to impeach," Van Drew told NBC News.
- Van Drew says he has not seen convincing evidence that the president committed crimes with his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and that it would be better to allow voters to pass judgment on the president on Election Day in 2020 — especially considering that it's highly unlikely the Republican Senate would vote to convict.
- Ezra Levin, a co-founder of progressive political group Indivisible, told NBC News that the Democratic holdouts are "going to look like cowards, trying to have a foot on either side of this — and that's a good way to end up underwater. ... The fact of the matter is they will be running for re-election with a 'D' next to their name and the Democrats are going to be pushing for impeachment."
Between the lines: While it's true that the 2020 election is only about a year away, some Democrats counter Van Drew's argument by claiming that Trump's alleged solicitation of foreign interference undermines the country's ability to have a free and fair election.
The 7 Democrats:
- Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.)
- Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.)
- Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine)
- Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.)
- Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.)
- Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)
- Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.)
Go deeper: Trump's Senate red wall against impeachment
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that Rep. Brindisi's first name is Anthony (not Andrew).