Leading House Dem says public hearings 'overdue' in impeachment inquiry

Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., threw his weight behind the impeachment inquiry on Saturday but said that public hearings were "overdue" in the process.

"I think it's absolutely the case that the president should have the opportunity to defend himself against what's being brought forward," he said on "America's News HQ."

DEMOCRATS' IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY IS COLORED BY LACK OF TRANSPARENCY, SAYS REP. ANDY BIGGS

More from Media

"But let's keep in mind, the phase we're in right now is the deposition phase where witnesses are called in to determine whether or not they have any information that's relevant to this case. At that point, we will move into the very public phase of hearings which, frankly I do think is overdue -- to be fair," he said.

Fox News host Leland Vittert asked Kildee, who serves as Democrats' Chief Deputy Whip, how Americans could view the inquiry as impartial "when so many Democrats seem to have prejudged the president's guilt already."

REP. STEUBE ON THE IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATION: THERE'S NOTHING ABOUT THIS THAT'S BIPARTISAN

"I think that's a legitimate issue," Kildee told Vittert. "And I regret the fact that some of my colleagues -- long before even the Ukraine question came forward -- that already decided that they wanted to impeach the president."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Kildee's comments came days after the House voted, along party lines, to approve ground rules for the impeachment inquiry.

Republicans and the president have been railing against Democrats like House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for blocking Republicans from exercising certain authority in the inquiry.