President Trump is Impeached: Gabbard Votes “Present”

The Story:

On Wednesday, December 18, the US House of Representatives voted to send to the Senate for trial two counts of impeachment regarding President Donald Trump. Most of the votes cast on impeachment were cast along party lines — Democrats voted “yes,” and Republicans “no.” One of the rare exceptions drew a lot of immediate attention because it involved a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President: Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii.


Gabbard is in her fourth term representing Hawaii’s 2d Congressional district, a largely suburban area. She won her most recent election there (2018) quite easily, with 77.4% of the vote.

Her signature campaign concerns in the Presidential campaign are on foreign policy matters, where she describes herself as a hawk on the “war on terror” but a dove on what she calls “wars of regime change.”

The Thing to Know:

Gabbard voted “present” with reference to each article of impeachment. This means what is meant in other contexts by a vote to “abstain.” She has explained that on the one hand she believes that President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing, but that on the other hand she believes that “the removal of a sitting President must not be the result of a partisan process,” and this process has fallen far short of the impartial fact finding she considers necessary.

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