Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) criticized the way House Democrats are conducting the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump for being too “partisan” during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Gabbard, who has gained a reputation for standing apart from the Democratic establishment on some issues, said the public needs to have more access to know what’s going on in closed-door depositions.
“I don’t know what’s going on in those closed doors. We as members of Congress don’t have access to the information that is being shared, and I think that the American people deserve to know exactly what the facts are as this inquiry goes on,” Gabbard said.
Gabbard initially opposed impeachment, saying it would be too divisive, before she eventually supported an impeachment inquiry. Still, she said, handling it in a “partisan” way could be damaging.
“I think it needs to be a transparent process,” Gabbard said. “I have long expressed my concern about going through impeachment proceedings in a very, very partisan way because it will only tear apart an already divided country.”
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Impeachment inquiry hearings are open to members of the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees, which include both Republicans and Democrats. Still, House Republicans have complained that the inquiry is too secretive.
By taking a stance that is closer to that of House Republicans than it is to House Democrats, Gabbard is inviting more criticism from Democrats. She is in the midst of a high-profile feud with Hillary Clinton, who has called her a “Russian asset” and alleged that Gabbard is being groomed for a third-party presidential bid, which Gabbard has denied.
Committed to the race
Gabbard has been polling in the low single-digits throughout her campaign, and even her relatively high name recognition has not boosted her campaign. Still, she is committed to her presidential run — so much so, that she will not be running for re-election for her House seat in 2020.
“I’m so grateful to the people of Hawaii for allowing me to serve you in Congress for the last seven years,” Gabbard said in a statement. “Throughout my life, I’ve always made my decisions based on where I felt I could do the most good. In light of the challenges we face, I believe I can … best serve the people of Hawaii and our country as president and commander-in-chief.”