HomeAsian AmericansTulsi Gabbard casts surprise vote on impeachment

Tulsi Gabbard casts surprise vote on impeachment

All the AAPI members of the House of Representatives voted for the impeachment of Donald Trump except for one — Hawaii’s Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

“I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing,” she said. in a statement. “I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country.”

Instead, Gabbard opted to vote “present,” which basically is the same as “abstain.” She was the lone House member of take no position in the historic vote.

“I come before you to make a stand for the center, to appeal to all of you to bridge our differences and stand up for the American people,” Gabbard’s statement continued. “My vote today is a vote for much needed reconciliation and hope that together we can heal our country.”

All the other AAPI members of the House joined other Democrats to vote on “yes” on both articles of impeachment. The final vote was 230-197 mostly along party lines for “abuse of power,” 229-198 for “obstruction.” Gabbard, who as a maverick Democrat is a long-shot candidate for the party’s nomination for POTUS, was the only House member to take no position on both articles. Going against her party will likely not please the Democrats.

Earlier, Gabbard failed to get support when she introduced an amendment to censure Trump, basically a slap on the wrist for what most historicans have called the most serious charges for impeachment ever.

By breaking away from her party, Gabbard won’t win her friends among Democrats but it might make some Republicans consider her independence as a plus giving fuel to Hillary Clinton’s earlier claim that the GOP was setting up one of the Democratic candidates to make a third-party run for the presidency, an accusation that Gabbard has denied.

The House voted to impeach Donald Trump along party lines

The vote was the culmination of an investigation of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president and appeared to condition US military aide to an investigation of alleged corruption involving Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

“To turn a blind eye to the President openly courting foreign interference in our elections would set a dangerous precedent that any President can use the power of the office for personal gain,” said Rep. Judy Chu prior to the vote. “This was what the Founders feared, which is why Congress was established as a check and overseer, and why impeachment was included as a measure of recourse for a President who flaunts our laws and the Constitution. 

“And unfortunately, due to the President’s flagrant behavior and concerted effort to obstruct any and all legal investigations, impeachment was the only option left to us. My vote today for impeachment is a vote to defend our democracy and our elections from any interference, foreign or domestic,” said Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., a few days removed from a heart procedure, delivered a passionate argument for impeaching Trump.

“No one in America could do what Donald Trump did and get away with it,” Lieu said before he cast his vote. “No American elected official can call up a foreign government and ask for an investigation of a political opponent. No member of Congress can call up a foreign official and ask for help in a reelection campaign. If we did that, we would likely get indicted.”

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-VA, who is part Filipino said during the debate, “The delicate balance of power that underpins our democracy is threatened when a President disregards the Constitution by obstructing Congress to cover up illegal behavior. In doing that, President Trump violated his oath. Today, we must put country over party. Conscience over complicity. Today, we must assert that no one is above the law. Today, we are summoned by history to do the right thing.”

“This is a day of accountability and defending our democracy,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA. “The facts in front of us are clear.

“In fact, on those two calls with (Ukrainian) President [Volodymyr] Zelensky, he never mentioned the word ‘corruption’,” Jayapal said. “He solicited foreign interference before, he is doing it now, and he will do it again. The president is the smoking gun.”

As the vote was announced to impeach Trump, the Democrats began to cheer but with one swift swipe of her hand, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi silenced her party. She did not want a celebration.

“The House has acted on a very sad day to protect the Constitution of the United States,” she said, calling the vote “appropriate and urgent.”

AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our  Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff or submitting a story.


  1. RE: Tulsi Gabbard casts surprise vote on impeachment: if you knew tulsi’s record and alliances this would not be “surprising” as the headline suggests


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Worth the Time

Must Read

Regular Features


Discover more from AsAmNews

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading