Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), a Democratic presidential candidate, called out other contenders for the 2020 nomination for fundraising from the Democrats impeachment inquiry.
“Candidates for POTUS who are fundraising off ‘impeachment’ are undermining credibility of inquiry in eyes of American people, further dividing our already fractured country,” Gabbard said in a statement on Sept. 30.
“Please stop. We need responsible, patriotic leaders who put the interests of our country before their own.”
A slew of 2020 candidates have been using impeachment to get money from supporters, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former Vice President Joe Biden, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
Candidates for POTUS who are fundraising off “impeachment” are undermining credibility of inquiry in eyes of American people, further dividing our already fractured country. Please stop. We need responsible, patriotic leaders who put the interests of our country before their own.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) September 30, 2019
The Biden campaign sent an email just before the impeachment inquiry was announced, telling supporters they should sign a petition if they think Congress “has no choice but to initiate impeachment,” reported ABC News. The petition led to a survey page asking for donations.
“If we’re being honest, we’ve fallen a little behind where we planned to be,” Biden’s campaign website stated before asking for a small donation to help them “get back on track.”
Harris and Bullock sent similar emails and the Warren and Harris campaigns have been running advertisements about impeachment on Facebook and Twitter.
The Democratic National Committee also used the inquiry to raise money, sending a text that said: “URGENT: Stand with Speaker Pelosi as the House moves forward with an official impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.”
And now Harris sends out a list-building email about impeachment. pic.twitter.com/krA0xoP6C6
— Nicholas Wu (@nicholaswu12) September 15, 2019
Trump has also been raising money off impeachment and has garnered over $15 million.
Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry after a person filed a complaint against President Donald Trump, accusing him of abusing the office of the president. The person admitted he or she didn’t have direct knowledge of the alleged abuses but said they’d heard from more than half a dozen officials.
The complaint was largely about a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump asked Zelensky to look into Crowdstrike and work together with Attorney General William Barr to probe election interference from 2016.
Trump also asked Zelensky to probe the situation involving former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden last year said that he got a Ukrainian prosecutor fired in 2016 by threatening to withhold $1 billion in aid. That prosecutor was probing Burisma, an energy company. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, sat on the board of Burisma from 2014 to 2019.
Biden has claimed no wrongdoing in the matter but the prosecutor who was dismissed, Viktor Shokin, said that he was forced out over the Burisma investigation.
In one of the emails to supporters, Biden said Trump’s team is trying to “smear my name and hijack this election.”
Gabbard initially said the transcript of the call between Trump and Shokin did not show ample evidence for impeachment but she changed her mind several days later after the complaint was also released.
“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 a 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.”