House Dem opposing impeachment inquiry slams 'failed' process

A Democratic lawmaker from New Jersey told Fox News on Wednesday that despite an impending vote on a House impeachment resolution, he doubts that formalizing the investigation into President Trump will do little more than result in a failed process.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J., an outspoken critic of the impeachment probe being led by Democratic colleagues on three House committees, said he doubts he will vote in favor of the resolution introduced Tuesday. He further predicted that the attempt to remove Trump from office will be unsuccessful.

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“At the end of the day we’ll have the same president and same candidate and a failed impeachment process, and the only difference would be that the president will have been exonerated of charges," Van Drew said in a statement to Fox News.

House committees have held nearly a dozen depositions of witnesses who have testified behind closed doors about their knowledge of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It's been alleged, by an anonymous whistleblower, among others, that Trump sought to persuade the foreign leader to open an investigation into former vice president and 2020 candidate Joe Biden, his son Hunter and Biden business dealings in Ukraine in exchange for military aid to that nation.

Van Drew said that although he "feels concerned with many of the allegations related to the president," he doesn't think it's enough to warrant Trump's removal from office.

The House resolution marks an attempt by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to silence protests from Republicans who have criticized the impeachment inquiry, likening it to a sham because it has been conducted largely outside the view of the public.

The resolution would set parameters to formalize the impeachment proceedings and states that Democrats plan to hold public hearings in the future, will allow for staff questioning of witnesses going forward and will release transcripts of the already completed depositions that have been taken in the basement of the Capitol.

The vote will move to the House floor for consideration on Thursday and will likely pass the House on a party-line vote.

Van Drew told Fox News that he "believes as most others do as well, [Trump] will be charged but not convicted" by the Senate, and fears that the investigation will endanger vulnerable Democrats in the House come 2020.

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"The presidential primary season is amongst us and we have a general election coming up within a year. Let the people decide and let’s get issues such as lowering prescription drug prices, infrastructure, access to healthcare, veterans’ benefits, and small business accomplished. Instead, this will only split the country further apart at the seams and create an even more toxic and partisan political environment that brings any progress to a halt.”

The most recent Suffolk University/USA Today Poll taken between Oct. 23-26 asked voters "If the House impeaches President Trump, do you think the Senate should convict him, removing him from office?" Forty-six percent of voters answered yes while 47 percent answered no. Seven percent of voters said they were unsure.