2020 Democratic hopeful Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard reversed her position against the Democrats’ impeachment push on Friday, saying that “it is unfortunate, but necessary” to pursue.
Gabbard in a statement released by her office said that she changed her mind after reading the transcript of the conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky.
“Up to this point, I have been opposed to pursuing impeachment because it will further divide our already badly divided country," the statement began. “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.”
"Future presidents, as well as anyone in positions of power in the government, will conclude that they can abuse their position for personal gain, without fear of accountability or consequences,” Gabbard continued. “If we allow the President to abuse his or her power, then our society will rot from top to bottom… This is not the kind of country that any of us want to see. So it is unfortunate, but necessary, that I speak in support of the inquiry into the President’s alleged abuse of power in relation to his interactions with Ukraine’s leaders.”
As Fox News reports, "Her Friday reversal came after Thursday testimony from acting Director of National Intelligence Joeseph Maguire, who defended the administration's decision not to report the whistleblower complaint to the inspector general. And according to Maguire, the report was 'hearsay.'"
Just three days ago, Gabbard said in an interview that she believed impeachment would be “very divisive.” She also said after the White House released a partial transcript of the conversation that it did not show a “compelling” case for impeachment.
Her remarks come ahead of the next 2020 Democratic primary debate in October as she joins in her competitors' position.