Former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) said Thursday that he has spoken privately to some of his former colleagues amid the ongoing House impeachment inquiry and said that there is “no question” they are “absolutely disgusted and exhausted by the president’s behavior.”
Dent, a moderate House Republican who left office in 2017, made the remarks during an appearance on CNN in which he was pressed about whether he supported the impeachment inquiry into President Trump over his dealings with the Ukraine.
“I certainly would have voted for the impeachment inquiry. Based on the facts as I understand them now, I do think this rises to the level of impeachment. I would probably support it,” said Dent, who has long been a critic of the Trump administration.
However, Dent added, “I don’t think the Democrats should move forward on impeachment until they hear from some of these primary witnesses, like John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney and the secretary of State himself,” he continued, referring to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“I think they need to close that loop. I don’t think they should force this or rush this,” added Dent. “By the same token, neither should the Senate Republicans force or rush a trial.”
During his appearance, Dent also touched on some of the feelings his former colleagues share around the ongoing inquiry.
“Well, I think my former colleagues are in a situation where they understand their base pressure. The base has not yet bolted from the president,” he said. “And I think that’s why they’re standing with the president for the moment.”
“But there’s no question, having spoken to many of them privately, they are absolutely disgusted and exhausted by the president’s behavior. They resent being put in this position all the time,” he continued.
“I think they’d like to step out but they just can’t because of their base at the moment.”
The former Pennsylvania Republican said he thinks his former colleagues in Congress can either “be more concerned about their election or their legacies.”
“I would argue to many of them, your legacy is more important than the next election,” he said.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced nine weeks ago that the House would formally be launching an impeachment inquiry into Trump, though no House Republican has come out in favor of the investigation.
Next week, the House Judiciary Committee is set to hold its first hearing in the investigation and decide whether evidence that has been collected so far in the inquiry warrants bringing forward articles of impeachment against Trump.