Appearing Thursday on The Hill’s Rising, 2020 White House candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) defended her decision to vote “present” on impeaching President Donald Trump, stating that the founding fathers warned of what she criticized as a “highly partisan process.”
A partial transcript is as follows:
KRYSTAL BALL: Tell us what your thought process was here? How did you come to this decision?
REP. TULSI GABBARD: First of all, throughout my life, whether it was through serving in the military and in the different decisions that I’ve made in Congress, I always think about what’s in the best interest of the country. People will agree sometimes with those decisions or disagree with those decisions. But my motivation is always coming from a deep love of country. That’s where, after doing my due diligence and going through the exhaustive report that was put out and the conclusion of the inquiry, I could not in good conscience vote either “yes” or “no.”
A “no” vote was unacceptable for me Donald Trump is absolutely guilty of wrongdoing. A “yes” vote was unacceptable to me because impeachment should never come about as a culmination of a highly partisan process. This is something that our founding [fathers] warned us about. Alexander Hamilton wrote very clearly about how his concern that the impeachment outcome would be determined by the strength of one part or another, rather than an examination of innocence or guilt. That’s why I believe so strongly that making this statement, voting “present,” taking a stand for the center, standing for our democracy and really that this decision of whether to remove Donald Trump or not must be in the hands of voters. I believe that they will make that decision.