Congressman loses even more staffers over decision to join GOP

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A total of eight staffers have left Rep. Jeff Van Drew's office since the weekend.

Two staffers working for Rep. Jeff Van Drew in his New Jersey district office quit in light of the congressman's desire to join the Republican Party, CNN reported Wednesday. Combined with previous resignations, these additions bring the total to eight staffers who have left Van Drew's office since news broke over the weekend that he would no longer be a member of the Democratic Party.

Van Drew, a freshman, has not officially switched parties, but he did inform Donald Trump in a Friday White House meeting of his intention to do so, according to the Washington Post. Van Drew was one of two Democrats to vote against opening an official impeachment investigation into Trump and had announced his intention of voting against the articles of impeachment.

The report of the resignation of two district staffers contradicts a previous statement Van Drew made to CNN.

"We actually have all our staff in district, they've all stayed and they're doing great," Van Drew said on Tuesday.

On Sunday night, five senior staffers in Van Drew's Washington, D.C., office wrote a joint letter announcing their resignation.

"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 addition to those five, the Washington Post reported a sixth staffer resigned on Sunday.

In response to the mass resignations, both Rep. Cherri Bustos (D-IL), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, offered to hire the staffers.

If Van Drew follows through on his decision to leave his party, he will be the second member of Congress in the Trump era to do so.

In the summer of 2019, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan left the Republican Party and became an independent member of Congress.

In a July 4 op-ed in the Washington Post, Amash wrote that he had become "disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what I see from it." In the intervening months, the conservative Amash has been outspoken in favor of impeachment.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.