WASHINGTON — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, issued the following statement on Sept. 27 regarding the impeachment inquiry launched this week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
“Up to this point, I have been opposed to pursuing impeachment 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.
“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.
“If we allow the president to abuse his or her power, then our society will rot from top to bottom. 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.
“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. 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.”