A former GOP lawmaker on Thursday spilled the beans on what his ex-colleagues in Congress are saying about President Donald Trump in private.
Ex-Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) acknowledged in an interview on “CNN Newsroom” that Republicans are in public “standing with the president for the moment,” despite the impeachment inquiry prompted by the Ukraine scandal.
They “are in a situation where they understand their base pressure, the base has not yet bolted from the president,” he explained.
“But there’s no question, having spoken to many of them privately, they’re absolutely disgusted and exhausted by the president’s behavior,” said Dent, who stepped down from Congress in 2018. “They resent being put in this position all the time.”
Many GOP lawmakers are currently “wrestling” with whether it was more important to win their next election or preserve their legacy for years to come, he claimed. The current consensus among political commentators is that a Republican-controlled Senate will likely not vote to convict Trump if he is impeached by the Democratic-controlled House.
Earlier in the interview, Dent said he would have certainly “voted for the impeachment inquiry based on the facts as I understand them now” and “would probably support” the impeachment of Trump.
But he cautioned Democrats against moving forward until they had secured the testimony of key witnesses in the Ukraine scandal, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
“I think they need to close that loop and I don’t think they should force this or rush this,” Dent warned. “By the same token, neither should the Senate Republicans force or rush a trial.”