Gabbard announces support for Trump impeachment inquiry

Gabbard announces support for Trump impeachment inquiry

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSanders opens up large lead ahead of Colorado primary: poll Steyer releases African American policy ahead of South Carolina primary Biden leads by 18 points in South Carolina: poll MORE (D-Hawaii) on Friday said she now supports an impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump endorses former White House physician Ronny Jackson for Congress Newly released emails reveal officials' panic over loss of credibility after Trump's Dorian claims Lindsey Graham thanks Trump, bemoans 'never-ending bull----' at South Carolina rally  MORE.

"Up to this point, I have been opposed to pursuing impeachment because it will further divide our already badly divided country," Gabbard said in a statement. “However, after looking carefully at the transcript of the conversation with Ukraine’s President, the whistleblower 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."

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She called for a quick and focused probe rather than a prolonged investigation.

“This inquiry must be swift, thorough, and narrowly-focused," Gabbard said. "It cannot be turned into a long, protracted partisan circus that will further divide our country and undermine our democracy."

The lawmaker told Hill.TV on Wednesday that an impeachment inquiry would be "terribly divisive."

She also said at the time that the White House memo on Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky didn't make a “compelling” impeachment case.

“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 told Hill.TV. “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.”

A declassified version of a whistleblower complaint alleging Trump had used a July 25 call with Zelensky for personal gain was released on Thursday, a day after Gabbard's interview with Hill.TV. 

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and blasted the complaint as "fake news."

Gabbard is among more than a dozen candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. She is one of 12 candidates to qualify for the October Democratic debate.