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

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSteyer releases African American policy ahead of South Carolina primary Biden leads by 18 points in South Carolina: poll Buttigieg notes diversity on debate stage: We're '7 white people talking about racial justice' MORE (D-Hawaii) said Wednesday that the partial transcript of President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary 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 PelosiOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — California monitoring 8,400 people for coronavirus | Pence taps career official to coordinate response | Dems insist on guardrails for funding Overnight Energy: Murkowski, Manchin unveil major energy bill | Lawmakers grill EPA chief over push to slash agency's budget | GOP lawmaker accuses Trump officials of 'playing politics' over Yucca Mountain Hillicon Valley — Presented by Facebook — Federal court rules tech giants can censor content | Trump upends surveillance fight | Senate passes bill barring federal funds for Huawei equipment 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 BidenThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary Sanders holds 13-point lead in Fox News poll 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