U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, on Friday said she supports an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump.
“Up to this point, I have been opposed to pursuing impeachment because it will further divide our already badly divided country,” she said in a prepared statement.
“However, after looking carefully at the transcript of the conversation with the Ukrainian president, the whistle-blower complaint, the Inspector General memo, and President Trump’s comments about the issue, unfortunately, I believe that if we do not proceed with the inquiry, it will set a very dangerous precedent. Future presidents, and anyone in positions of power in the government, will conclude they can abuse their position for personal gain, without fear of accountability or consequences,” she said.
Gabbard, a Democratic candidate for president, said a president can’t be allowed to abuse his or her power.
“If we allow the president to abuse his or her power, then our society will rot from top to bottom,” Gabbard said. “We will turn into a banana republic, where people in positions of power — from the president all the way down to the traffic cop — will feel it’s OK to abuse their power with no consequences.
“This is not the kind of country that any of us wants to see,” she said.
“So it is unfortunate, but necessary, that I’m speaking in support of the inquiry into the president’s alleged abuse of power in relation to his interactions with Ukraine leaders. This inquiry must be swift, thorough and narrowly-focused,” said Gabbard. “It cannot be turned into a long, protracted, partisan circus that will further divide our country and undermine our democracy.”
Gabbard joins other members of the Hawaii delegation to endorse the impeachment inquiry.
Hawaii U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono and U.S. Rep. Ed Case endorsed the impeachment inquiry process.
“The president is breaking statutory and constitutional law every day, and he is abusing his inherent power as president with regularity, enthusiasm and, most troublingly, impunity,” Schatz said.
“He and his legal team argue that a sitting president’s authorities are so vast that they literally transcend the law. They argue that Congress has a remedy for this criminality and defiance — the impeachment process. If that is their view, so be it,” said Schatz.
Hirono had this to say:
“I commend Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats for opening a formal impeachment inquiry that will lay out for the American people whether Donald Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
“From Day 1 of his presidency, Donald Trump has been motivated by two things: protecting himself and making money. Speaker Pelosi is right to hold this dangerous chief executive accountable,” Hirono said.
Case said this:
“The allegations that the president pressured a foreign country to investigate a domestic political opponent and withheld foreign assistance as leverage, to go with his Director of National Intelligence’s refusal to produce the whistle-blower’s complaint and independent Inspector General’s report to Congress as required by law, go to the core of this or any president’s constitutional duties and our national security.”
State Sen. Kai Kahele, a democratic candidate for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, said Thursday he stands with Gabbard, Schatz, Hirono and Case.
“The president’s abuse of power has compromised the integrity of our democracy and put our national security and election security at risk,” he said. “Now is the time for Congress to fulfill its constitutional duty to serve as a check and balance on this administration.”
Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or email@example.com.