Politics

Tulsi Gabbard Votes ‘Present’ At Impeachment Vote Against Trump

Photographer: Alex Wroblewski/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Wednesday voted “present” during the vote to impeach President Donald Trump, after saying earlier in the week she would be in favor of censuring him.

“I am standing in the center and have decided to vote Present. I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing. I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country,” Gabbard said in an emailed statement.

“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. Tragically, that’s what it has been,” Gabbard continued.

Gabbard announced Tuesday that she is still undecided on impeaching President Trump and reportedly that she would vote to censure him. Reporters had been speculating all day on whether Gabbard would vote, as she was not seen on the House floor and was not responding to press inquiries. She was the only Democrat to vote “present.”

“I’m taking this time for myself to be able to review everything that’s happened, all the information that’s been put forward,” Gabbard told a crowd Monday at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., according to ABC News. “And just all the factors that go into really trying to figure out what is the best action to take for our country. And for democracy. It’s not a simple or easy decision to make.”

This comes as a group of House Democrats were reportedly considering censuring Trump instead of impeaching him. (RELATED: ABC News: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls For Trump’s Censure Over Impeachment)

Around 10 Democratic members of Congress, including New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader, New York Rep. Anthony Brindisi, and Utah Rep. Ben McAdams, are all reportedly open to a censure resolution of Trump instead of moving forward with impeachment, according to Politico.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (C), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (R) and Representative Steny Hoyer, walk out of the White House after meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC on October 16, 2019. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite Pelosi’s early reluctance to push for impeachment, 228 Democrats voiced support for impeachment or an impeachment inquiry. Pelosi has said she believes Trump is “goading” Democrats to impeach him because he thinks it will help him fire up his base.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised approximately $1 million dollars the day after Pelosi explicitly came out in favor of the impeachment of Trump for the first time. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: We Asked Every GOP Senator About Impeachment. Seven Ruled It Out.)

Many of Pelosi’s Democratic colleagues previously pushed for impeaching Trump, including Democratic Texas Rep. Al Green, who broke with Pelosi when he vowed to force a vote to impeach Trump in late March. Green, who previously had several bills to impeach Trump overwhelmingly rejected by the House of Representatives, called for a third impeachment vote. Pelosi said impeachment was “just not worth it” in a March interview(RELATED: Nancy Pelosi Comes Out In Favor Of Impeachment)

Pelosi said in October she would not hold a full vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry.