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

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardRepublicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates Gabbard says she 'was not invited to participate in any way' in Democratic convention MORE (D-Hawaii) said Wednesday that the partial transcript of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act 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 PelosiPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Will Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? 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 says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Joe Biden should enact critical government reforms if he wins 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