• October 22, 2019

Dozens protest Van Drew impeachment stance - Ocean City Sentinel: News

Dozens protest Van Drew impeachment stance

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Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 10:37 am

MAYS LANDING — About 55 people from throughout southern New Jersey held signs and chanted Friday, Oct. 4, outside U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s office in Mays Landing to protest the congressman’s reported opposition to an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. 

Van Drew, a Democrat, represents New Jersey’s Second Congressional District, which includes Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties and portions of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Ocean counties. 

Van Drew discussed the impeachment inquiry when he appeared Wednesday, Sept. 25, on the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” television show on Fox News. 

In a video clip from the show on the Fox News website, Van Drew expressed concern about how impeachment could negatively affect the government and distract from what he considered to be more important issues.  

“It seems to me at this point in time we really do want to accomplish some goals. Infrastructure needs to be dealt with, health care needs to be dealt with, prescription drugs need to be dealt with … elections need to be dealt with as far as making sure that they’re secure,” he said. 

“The point is, I really believe the more that we delve into this, the more time we spend on it, especially at a macro level, the more we’re not going to be able to spend time on these other issues that are important,” Van Drew said. 

He continued saying it was not because Congress is unable to “walk and chew gum at the same time,” as he said that someone else brought up. 

However, he said the problem is that “when we’re this divided, when we’re this split, this two political parties and this is all going on, people aren’t going to work together; so the president’s not going to be signing bills, the Senate bills aren’t going to be going through the House, the House bills aren’t going to be going through the Senate, and at the end of the day I’m afraid that all we’re going to have is a failed impeachment.”

Van Drew said that “maybe there are those that want to punish the president or make a point and I understand that.” 

He added that, “the bottom line is he’s still going to be the president of the United States and the bottom line is he is still going to be the candidate for the Republican Party, so why don’t we let the people do the impeachment by voting in the electoral process the way we usually do.”

Trump later thanked Van Drew on Twitter for his comments.  

Helen Duda, of Buena Vista Township, organized the protest Oct. 4.  

She said they organized it to “let our Congress representatives know that we want Donald Trump impeached. We want the impeachment inquiry to go on. We expect them to uphold their oath to the Constitution, and we are disappointed in Van Drew because he is against the impeachment inquiry and his constituents here do not agree with him.”

According to Duda, people from throughout the Second Congressional District were in attendance. This included people from Salem, Cumberland, Camden, Gloucester and Atlantic counties. 

As of Oct. 4, Duda said she had not had the opportunity to speak to Van Drew or anyone from his office. 

The protest began at 6 p.m. and continued for about an hour. 

A representative from Van Drew’s office did not respond to a request for comment. 

Arthur Maurizio drove about an hour and 20 minutes from Pedricktown to attend the protest after learning about it on Facebook. 

“It’s come to the point now where we have to take action. We’re losing our democracy,” Maurizio said. 

He said that Van Drew “knows that Trump won this congressional district in the last election. He’s not going to do the right thing. He’s going to err on the side of the votes.”

When asked what he hoped the outcome of an impeachment inquiry would be, he said that “you would hope the Senate would act responsibly and put the country in front of their own self-interests, but I don’t expect that to happen.”

David Leighty, also of Pedricktown, said he thinks that “Donald Trump is out of control and Van Drew should at least get involved with the impeachment process to find out what’s going on.”

Leighty said he attended because he wanted his (adult) children “to realize you might have to get involved with things to make a change.”

Linda Harrison, of Northfield, requested Van Drew hold a town hall meeting to explain his actions. She said she hoped he would be there Friday so they could speak to him. 

Harrison said she did not understand how “any honest person who wants to represent our democracy can take that stance (against the impeachment inquiry).”

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