The Hawaii congresswoman appeared on Fox News on Thursday to echo the complaints of Republicans, telling Sean Hannity that there is a lack of transparency in the impeachment process. Republicans have lodged similar complaints, leading a group of Republicans to storm a hearing this week, bringing the proceedings to a halt for several hours.
“I don’t know what’s going on in those closed doors,” Gabbard said. “We as members of Congress do not have access to the information that’s being shared. I think the American people deserve to know exactly what the facts are, what the evidence is being presented as this inquiry goes on.”
Gabbard, who had repeatedly expressed doubts about the Russia investigation and echoed Donald Trump’s statements afterward that it found no wrongdoing, said that she feared the current impeachment inquiry could “tear apart” the country if it were conducted in a hyperpartisan manner. Gabbard was one of the later Democrats to publicly support the launch of the impeachment inquiry, which is looking into whether Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
While Republicans have complained that they are being shut out of the impeachment inquiry, many have pointed out that the three committees leading the investigation are staffed with close to 50 Republican member of congress in total. Several of these members were also among the group of Republicans who stormed the meeting on Wednesday, entering a room where they would have been allowed inside anyway.
Hours before Gabbard’s appearance to echo the Republican complaints, a Fox News legal expert pushed back against the idea that Democrats are improperly conducting the impeachment inquiry. Judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pointed out that Democrats have been following the rules that Republicans put in place close to five years ago.
“As frustrating as it may be to have these hearings going on behind closed doors…they are consistent with the rules,” the Fox News expert said, via Newsweek.
“When were the rules written last? In January of 2015. And who signed them? John Boehner [the Republican speaker of the House]. And who enacted them? A Republican majority.”
Tulsi Gabbard has generated controversy in the presidential race, leading Hillary Clinton to openly speculate that Gabbard is being groomed by Russia to run as a third-party candidate with the intention of spoiling the election and helping Trump to win again.