Distinguishing herself in a crowded field of Democrats running for president, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, called Robert Mueller’s decision not to charge Donald Trump with colluding with Russia during the 2016 election “a good thing for our country.”
Gabbard, who lags in 2020 polls behind better-known rivals, said in a video posted to her Twitter account that “now that Mueller has reported that his investigation revealed no such collusion, we all need to put aside our partisan interests and recognize that finding that the president of the United States did not conspire with Russia to interfere with our elections is a good thing for our country.”
Mueller reported Trump did not collude with Russia to influence our elections. Now we must put aside partisan interests, move forward, and work to unite our country to deal with the serious challenges we face. pic.twitter.com/xTkHkyrAxp
While a chorus of Republicans, based on Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s report, are treating the matter as closed, other Democrats aren’t ready to move on.
“I'm very concerned because I think what the Attorney General did is undermine the purpose of the special counsel's job by summarizing this report and putting his imprimatur on it, he is taking away the benefit of having someone who's non-partisan, not appointed by the president actually making the decision about whether crimes may have been committed,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Thursday on MSNBC.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard throughout her political career
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard throughout her political career
US Democratic Representative from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard speaks during a hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) on 'The Plight of Religious Minorities in India' on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 4, 2014. Several US lawmakers voiced concern for the future of religious minorities in India in a hearing that critics denounced as an attempt to influence upcoming elections. With polls starting April 7 in the world's largest democracy, several activists testifying before the US Congress' human rights commission expressed fear for the treatment of Muslims and Christians if Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi becomes the next prime minister, as surveys predict. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
First Hindu Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, speaks at the unveiling ceremony of life-size statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Secaucus, NJ on May 31, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 25: Davan Gabbard (L), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (C) and Emily Tisch Sussman attend ELLE's annual Women in Washington Power List dinner hosted by Robbie Myers, ELLE Editor-in-Chief, with Gucci at Villa Firenze, the home of the Italian Ambassador, on March 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Elle)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) â Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington D.C., Sunday, March 10, 2013. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, attends news conference with democratic freshmen members-elect, in the Capitol Visitor Center. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 26: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, talks with Joe Scarborough, of MSNBC, before the Congressional Women's Softball game that pits Congresswomen against female journalists at Watkins Recreation Center on Capitol Hill. The reporters prevailed in a 11-8 victory. The game benefits the Young Survival Coalition that helps young women with breast cancer. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEB. 01, 2012: Tulsi Gabbard interviewed at Roll Call in Washington D.C. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call Photos)
UNITED STATES - JULY 26: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, nominates Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark)
US Representative Tulsi Gabbard speaks during Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 26, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 25: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, greets Celestino Almeda, a veteran reprinting the Philippine Commonwealth Army, during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in Emancipation Hall to honor Filipino veterans of World War II on October 25, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 25: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, attends a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in Emancipation Hall to honor Filipino veterans of World War II on October 25, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 06: Tulsi Gabbard speaks at Bernie Sanders 'A future to believe in San Francisco GOTV Concert' at Crissy Field San Francisco on June 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 17: Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Brian Mast, R-Fla., conduct a news conference in Rayburn Building on the Burn Pits Accountability Act, which evaluates the 'exposure of U.S. service members and veterans to open burn pits and toxic airborne chemicals,' on May 17, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05: Abraham Williams (L) and Tulsi Gabbard attend the Sean Penn CORE Gala benefiting the organization formerly known as J/P HRO & its life-saving work across Haiti & the world at The Wiltern on January 5, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for CORE, formerly J/P HRO )
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To date, only Barr’s team at the Justice Department have actually read Mueller’s report as the attorney general decides what portions, if any, of the nearly 400-page document he will keep from public view.
Like her rivals, Gabbard said she would like the public to see special counsel’s findings.
“The American people need to be able to see Mueller’s report,” Gabbard said in the video, but she emphasized that “we should all be relieved” Mueller did not recommend charging Trump with a criminal offense.
Explaining her rationale, Gabbard said that “if the president had been indicted for conspiring with Russia to interfere with and affect the outcome of our elections, it would have precipitated a terrible crisis that could have led to civil war.”
Gabbard then called on lawmakers to unite and pass her own legislation that seeks to secure U.S. elections by mandating paper ballots “that would make it impossible for Russia or any other country or rogue actor to come in and manipulate or change the results of our elections.”
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, using cyberattacks and other means to try to help elect Trump.
A Quinnipiac poll of Democrats likely to seek the 2020 presidential nomination found Gabbard was the choice of less than 1% of voters surveyed.