Tulsi Gabbard: Transcript doesn't show 'compelling' case for impeachment

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFinancial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-Hawaii) said Wednesday that the partial transcript of President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE's call with Ukraine’s president released by the Trump administration doesn’t show a “compelling” case for impeachment.

“Most people reading through that transcript are not going to find that extremely compelling cause to throw out a president that won an election in 2016,” the Democratic presidential candidate told Hill.TV during an appearance on “Rising.”

The Hawaii representative maintained that impeachment will only deepen the “hyperpartisan divides,” and argued that most people will only see it as another politically-motivated move by Democrats to oust Trump.

Prior to the release of transcript, Gabbard had similarly warned Democrats against launching an impeachment inquiry, saying such a move would be "terribly divisive." 

Gabbard’s comments come after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse votes unanimously to extend deadline for coronavirus small-business loan program Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated MORE (D-Calif.) late Tuesday announced a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump. Pelosi said her decision was sparked by the president’s own admission that he had spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about investigating Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign raised M more than Trump in the month of June RNC, Trump campaign raised 1M in June Michigan shuts down most indoor bar service in bid to prevent virus resurgence MORE's son. 

A day after Pelosi’s announcement, the Trump administration released a five-page partial transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky, which the president said validated his assertions and showed no evidence of wrongdoing. 

Democrats have nevertheless seized on the transcript, saying Trump’s conversation with Ukraine’s leader bolsters their case for impeachment.

But Gabbard argued in her interview with Hill.TV that instead of moving forward on impeachment, Democrats should wait until the 2020 elections and let the American people decide.

“Look, Donald Trump is corrupt — he is unfit to serve our country as president. He is unqualified to serve our country as commander-in-chief, I’m running for president to defeat him,” she said. “I just think it’s so important for our country to be able to move forward to bridge these divides that it be the American people that make this decision.”

—Tess Bonn