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Tipsheet

Gabbard on Impeachment: You Can't Make Up the Rules as You Go Along

AP Photo/Steven Senne

The Democrats' sham impeachment process has been a mess since the beginning. We knew that when Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced their "impeachment inquiry" the night before President Donald Trump released the transcript of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They made the argument that Trump threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless Zelensky he investigated former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, for corruption. After all, Hunter was being paid more than $50,00 a month to sit on the board of a Ukrainian gas company despite having no natural energy experience.

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We knew it was a sham, yet again, when the House voted to start the formal impeachment inquiry into the president roughly three weeks later. 

And it was confirmed, yet again, when Democrats continued pushing this witch hunt with the goal of attempting to jam through impeachment before Christmas. That is why the full House voted on and passed two articles of impeachment last week. The problem, however, is Speaker Pelosi might not actually send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate for a trial. 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), however, broke from her Democratic colleagues and voted "present." And she was the only one to do so. The reason? She does not agree with the Democrats' partisan witch hunt but, at the same time, she believes President Trump committed wrongdoing. 

“I am standing in the center and have decided to vote Present,” Gabbard said following the vote. “I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing.”

But when Pelosi announced her intention to hold the articles of impeachment in an effort to "ensure a fair trial" in the Senate, Gabbard was shocked.

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“I was surprised to hear that,” the Congresswoman told The Hill TV. “You can’t kind of just shift and change and make up the rules as you go along. If you’re going to pursue this process, you’ve got to let it play out the whole way through.”

Gabbard argued that failing to deliver the articles of impeachment to the Senate reinforces the hyperpartisanship that is currently taking place, something she believes is the fault of both political parties.

“This is not just on part of the Democrats. You see on those who are defending Donald Trump. You see a blind loyalty to their party’s leader,” she said.

Gabbard is right about one thing: if Democrats are going to push this partisan witch hunt, then they should not be able to pick and choose what processes they follow and which ones they do not. The Democrats have chosen to go down the impeachment road. They need to follow prior precedent – which they have failed to do so far – to make sure it is "fair" for the president. They cannot claim to follow the precedents that were followed during Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton's impeachment proceedings when there is absolutely zero bipartisan support for President Donald Trump's impeachment. They cannot claim to be following prior precedents when there the White House has had no chance to defend the president against these baseless claims.

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