Gabbard supports impeachment inquiry

  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard appears last month in Iowa. (Associated Press/AP file)

HONOLULU —U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced she supports the impeachment investigation into the actions of President Donald Trump, making her the fourth and final member of the Hawaii delegation to endorse the Trump investigation.

“If we allow the President to abuse his or her power, then our society will rot from top to bottom,” Gabbard said in a written statement Friday morning. “We will turn into a banana republic, where people in positions of power — from the president all the way down to the traffic cop — will feel it’s okay to abuse their power with no consequences.

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“This is not the kind of country that any of us want to see.”

Until now Gabbard has said she does not support an impeachment inquiry of Trump because “it will further divide our already badly divided country.”

“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,” she said in her statement.

“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.”

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

Hawaii U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono and U.S. Rep. Ed Case have already endorsed the impeachment inquiry process.

On Thursday state Sen. Kai Kahele announced that he also supports the impeachment inquiry. Kahele has announced he is running for the U.S. House seat now held by Gabbard.

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In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Kahele said he supports the decision by Schatz, Hirono and Case to back an impeachment inquiry.

“I also applaud House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for taking the first step to hold the President accountable for his corrupt actions and reckless behavior,” Kahele said in his statement. “The President’s abuse of power has compromised the integrity of our democracy and put our national security and election security at risk. Now is the time for Congress to fulfill its constitutional duty to serve as a check and balance on this administration.”

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