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Anti-impeachment Democrat expected to switch parties after Trump meeting

Officials said Saturday that Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, a vocally anti-impeachment Democrat, will join the Republican Party in the coming days, following a Friday meeting with President Trump — delivering a political jolt to Democrats ahead of next week’s expected vote to impeach the president.

Two Democratic officials familiar with Van Drew’s discussions in recent days said they believe he has decided to switch parties. The White House meeting was confirmed by a Trump administration official and one of the Democratic officials.

Van Drew, who won a previously Republican seat in 2018, has been a critical voice opposing impeachment inside the Democratic ranks, saying that the process is too divisive and comes too close to the 2020 presidential election. A member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition, Van Drew has positioned himself at the rightmost flank of his party.

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