/Tulsi Gabbard votes present on Trump impeachment articles, breaks with Dems

Tulsi Gabbard votes present on Trump impeachment articles, breaks with Dems


Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard declined to vote in favor of two articles of impeachment against President Trump after a contentious debate Wednesday, choosing to vote “present” instead.

The House voted 230 to 197 to impeach Trump for abuse of power, mostly along party lines. Lawmakers also voted to impeach the president on a second article, obstruction of Congress, in a 229-198 vote.

Gabbard, a 2020 presidential hopeful, released a lengthy statement following the votes.

“Throughout my life, whether through serving in the military or in Congress, I’ve always worked to do what is in the best interests of our country. Not what’s best for me politically or what’s best for my political part,” Gabbard said. “After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no.”

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii speaks to Democrats gathered at the Spratt Issues Conference in Greenville, S.C., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. Gabbard voted "present" on both articles of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii speaks to Democrats gathered at the Spratt Issues Conference in Greenville, S.C., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. Gabbard voted “present” on both articles of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

She said she believes Trump is guilty of wrongdoing but that she could not vote in favor of impeachment, saying the process must not be a “culmination of a partisan process.”

“When I cast my vote in support of the impeachment inquiry nearly three months ago, I said that in order to maintain the integrity of this solemn undertaking, it must not be a partisan endeavor,” Gabbard said. “Tragically, that’s what it has been. “

The Hawaiian congresswoman’s break from her party makes her the only White House contender to not favor impeachment.

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The impeachment now heads to the GOP-controlled Senate, where Trump is expected to be acquitted.

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