Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), the former Democrat who switched parties over the House Democrats’ first attempt to impeach President Donald Trump, has called on President-elect Joe Biden to unite the nation.
“I’m calling on the president-elect, Joe Biden, to say, ‘Enough. Let’s try to come together,'” Van Drew said during an appearance on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
The New Jersey congressman blamed talks of a second Trump impeachment on “very pro-left” Democrats, calling it a “divisive” and “unbelievable” move.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in recent days has pushed efforts to impeach the president for the second time, a move denounced by House Republicans because it will undermine any efforts by Biden to unify Americans.
”The way to [achieve unity] is not to call for another impeachment [due to] the waste of money, the waste of time, the division that it will cause in the United States of America,” Van Drew explained, adding that, “Tens of millions of people still did vote and still do support Donald Trump.”
Van Drew told host Maria Bartiromo that Trump would be out of office by the time Pelosi could follow through on the Democrat’s impeachment threats.
The impeachment talks came after civil unrest and acts of violence marred a largely peaceful protest at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. A group of rioters and a minority of protesters waving American and Trump flags illegally stormed the Capitol building as lawmakers were counting electoral votes in a joint session of Congress. Mayhem on Capitol grounds that day left at least five people dead, including one police officer, and dozens of officers injured.
Thousands of protesters had followed Trump to gather around the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon after his speech outside the White House, during which he asked protesters to “peaceful and patriotically make your voices heard” at the Capitol and urged Vice President Mike Pence to send contested Electoral College Votes back to state legislatures. Both of these things did not eventuate.
Rioters ended up breaching the Capitol building, and other protesters followed. Trump has since condemned the “heinous attack” by intruders on the Capitol, saying “the demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy.”
Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), on behalf of seven House members, said in a letter on Saturday that he believes a second impeachment only days before Trump is scheduled to leave office is as “unnecessary as it is inflammatory.”
“A presidential impeachment should not occur in the heat of the moment but rather after great deliberation,” the group said in its letter.
The impeachment “would be a further distraction to our nation at a time when millions of our fellow citizens are hurting because of the pandemic and the economic fallout,” they wrote.
“We respectfully urge you to encourage Speaker Pelosi to set aside this partisan effort immediately,” the letter said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also said Friday he was opposed to impeaching Trump, adding that it would further divide the country.
“Impeaching the President with just 12 days left will only divide our country more. I’ve reached out to President-elect Biden today & plan to speak to him about how we must work together to lower the temperature & unite the country to solve America’s challenges,” McCarthy said in a Twitter statement.
Janita Kan contributed to this report.