U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) was one of just two Democrats nationwide to oppose a House resolution Thursday that formalized the public impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
“Without bipartisan support I believe this inquiry will further divide the country tearing it apart at the seams and will ultimately fail in the Senate,” Van Drew said in a statement.
The Democrat’s stance did not come as a surprise to many. Van Drew had previously said he opposed impeachment, partially because he did not think the Senate would convict the president.
The first-term Democrat hails from the state’s Second Congressional District, a sprawling swath of South Jersey with conservative leanings that voted for President Trump in the 2016 election.
“Democrats in this district are diverse, but to the degree you have very conservative gun-owning Democrats anywhere in New Jersey, it’s in this district,” said Ben Dworkin, director of the Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship.
The resolution passed 232 to 196 with no Republican support.
House Democrats have already begun closed-door impeachment hearings looking into whether President Trump withheld aid to Ukraine to pressure the country’s president to investigate Joe Biden, one of Trump’s political rivals in next year’s election.
Thursday’s vote set the rules for the public portion of the impeachment proceedings.
Van Drew said that despite his opposition to the resolution, he would decide whether to vote to impeach President Trump based on what occurs in the investigation.
“Now that the vote has taken place and we are moving forward I will be making a judgement call based on all the evidence presented by these investigations,” he said.