Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), a 2020 Democratic hopeful, called for censuring President Donald Trump, rather than impeachment, as the House holds a debate and vote on impeachment, according to reports.
“I’m taking this time for myself to be able to review everything that’s happened, all the information that’s been put forward,” Gabbard told a crowd at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, ABC News reported. “And just all the factors that go into really trying to figure out what is the best action to take for our country. And for democracy. It’s not a simple or easy decision to make.”
ABC and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that she is planning to introduce the resolution to censure, although it’s not clear when.
Censuring Trump is seen as a more moderate alternative to impeachment, although the move is seen as a long shot.
The House needs a simple majority—or at least 218 votes—to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. As of Tuesday evening, it appears that the Democratic caucus has the needed votes to impeach, according to a tally by The Epoch Times.
According to the Star-Advertiser, Gabbard is expected to introduce a censure resolution in the House. Should it fail, it’s not clear how she would vote on the two articles of impeachment.
“I think it’s really important that every member of congress cast their vote based on what’s in the best interest of the country rather than based on political implications,” she was quoted by ABC News as saying. “Throughout my political life, I have always done my best to make decisions and cast votes based on what I believe is the right thing to do,” Gabbard told reporters this week. “Even when that decision causes political damage to my quote-unquote, you know, career reelection chances, that is not a factor for me in my decision-making process whatsoever.”
Politico reported last week that several other Democrats support censuring over impeachment. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) told the website at the time: “I think it’s certainly appropriate and might be a little more bipartisan, who knows … Time’s slipping by.”
Gabbard has missed about 89 percent of votes in the House since October as she has been running for president, according to GovTrack.us.
In October, she announced that she wouldn’t be seeking reelection in her House district as she focuses on her bid. Her term ends through the end of 2020.
Democrats said Trump withheld millions of dollars in foreign aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden, who had sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas firm, Burisma Holdings, that had been accused of corruption. While the Bidens have denied allegations of corruption, Republicans pointed to a video where the former vice president bragged about getting Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, fired from his job as he was investigating the company. Obama administration officials said it was Shokin who was corrupt.