Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, explained Thursday how a “deep love of country” motivated her to vote “present” on both articles of impeachment the night before.

Gabbard was the sole Democrat to vote “present” on impeaching President Donald Trump, causing a stir among media and fellow lawmakers. She explained the decision on The Hill’s “Rising With Krystal Ball & Saagar Enjeti.”


“My motivation is always coming from a deep love of country,” Gabbard said. “And that’s where, after doing my due diligence and going through the exhaustive report that was put out … I came to that conclusion that I could not, in good conscience, vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no.’”

“A ‘no’ vote was unacceptable to me because Donald Trump is absolutely guilty of wrongdoing,” Gabbard continued. “A ‘yes’ vote was unacceptable to me because impeachment should never come about as a culmination of a highly partisan process. This is something that our founders warned us about.”

The Hawaii congresswoman noted that the decision to remove the president from office “must be in the hands of voters.” She added that she believes “strongly” in her decision to vote present, telling co-hosts Ball and Enjeti she was “taking a stand for the center” as well as democracy.

“Our country is torn apart. This impeachment process has only further divided an already divided country,” Gabbard said.

She took a stand against Trump as well, despite not voting for impeachment Wednesday night. She said there is “no question” Trump is “unfit to serve as president.”

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