2019-11-30 12:15:521 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Charlie Dent (Image source: Public domain)
To many people, it's confusing that Republican lawmakers can stand by Donald Trump. The things he has been accused of are shocking. Taking away accusations and just looking at what he has admitted to seems shameful at best. Yet, the majority of the GOP still continue to stand by him.
But occasionally we get inklings that is all just a show by the Republicans to maintain their power hold in Washington. There will be an anonymous editorial released or even a few holdouts who risk everything by publicly announcing that they do not back Trump.
Add former Congressman Charlie Dent (R-PA) to that mix. While he's been out of politics fo the past year and a half, he spent more than a year as a member of the House with Trump as president. It was enough for him to be able to offer a few critical observations of the president as well as the House Republicans who continue to back him, at least publicly. He said this week that some of his former colleagues have told him they are "absolutely disgusted and exhausted by the president's behavior."
Dent was a member of the House from 2005 through May 2018 when he retired early and left his seat vacant. He was a Member of the Republican Main Street Partnership and the House Appropriations Committee, Co-Chaired the Tuesday Group, and Chaired the House Ethics Committee.
In an appearance on CNN's "Newsroom" with Ana Cabrera, the former congressman said House Republicans are sticking by Trump because of the pressure from the base, but "they resent being put in this position all the time."
Dent explained that the Trump administration was trying to "pivot from the Ukraine scandal" by announcing the 2020 G7 summit at the Trump National Doral resort. They were forced to retract that announcement after criticism that the president would hold an event such as that at one of his own properties while he's in the middle of emolument lawsuits.
But of course they wanted to pivot away from the Ukraine scandal. While the GOP has fought back during the scandal, while Trump has said he didn't do anything wrong, and while he has said his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was "perfect," his actions are not being defended. Instead, Republicans are attacking the impeachment process and trying to lend credence to his desire to investigate his political opponents, attempting to show there is a valid reason for the probes.
"Moving from one corrupt act to another," said Dent. "I mean those types of head-exploding moments are just, I think, infuriating these members, and I think they'd like to step out, but they just can't because of their base at the moment."
"I think a lot of members have to take a hard look at this," he added. "They can be more concerned about their election or their legacies. And I would argue to many of them: your legacy is more important than the next election."
As he understands the facts as of now, Dent says he would most likely vote to impeach Trump if he was still in office. "I do think this rises to the level of impeachment," he opined. However, he also added that Democrats should not move forward with impeachment until they hear from key witnesses that have refused to appear amongst threats from the White House, such as former national security adviser John Bolton, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
This is what it will take to make them appear and to make the other GOP lawmakers start standing up against the White House. More and more need to be willing to stand up and announce Trump's behavior won't be tolerated, certainly not for another four years.
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