Gabbard casts lone ‘present’ vote on impeachment

The congresswoman, who announced in October that she would not seek reelection, noted that she introduced a censure resolution to “send a strong message to this president and future presidents that their abuses of power will not go unchecked, while leaving the question of removing Trump from office to the voters to decide.”

“I am confident that the American people will decide to deliver a resounding rebuke of President Trump’s innumerable improprieties and abuses,” she continued. “And they will express that judgment at the ballot box. That is the way real and lasting change has always occurred in this great country: through the forcefully expressed will of the people.”

The impeachment vote comes on the eve of the final Democratic presidential debate of 2019. PBS NewsHour and POLITICO will host seven candidates at Loyola Marymount University on Thursday night. Gabbard, however, will not be on stage after falling short of the polling requirements.

The president’s impeachment now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate, which is expected to begin its trial early next month. Five Democratic presidential candidates — Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Michael Bennet — will sit as silent jurors.

Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.

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