Tulsi Gabbard Blasts Biden for Vowing to Punish Border Agents: 'Judge, Jury and Executioner'

Former Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard criticized President Joe Biden Saturday for promising that Border Patrol agents' recent treatment of Haitian migrants will be punished.

On Friday, Biden told reporters that "people will pay" after footage circulated showing Border Patrol agents on horses charging migrants at the U.S. border in Texas.

"It's horrible what you saw. To see people like they did, with horses, running them over, people being strapped, it's outrageous," the president said.

"I promise you, those people will pay. There is an investigation underway right now and there will be consequences," he added.

Speaking on Fox News Saturday, Gabbard said that Biden should apologize for his comments.

"He's somebody who's been very outspoken as being against autocrats, autocracies, dictators," Gabbard said, referring to the president.

"But what he essentially did was act as judge, jury and executioner for these customs and Border Patrol agents on horseback. How can they expect to have a fair outcome to an investigation when the president of the United States has already declared their guilt and that they will be punished?" the former congresswoman asked.

Gabbard Blasts Biden for Border Agent Comments
Former Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard criticized President Joe Biden Saturday for promising that the Border Patrol agents' treatment of Haitian migrants will be punished. Above, Gabbard holds a Town Hall meeting on Super Tuesday Primary night on March 3, 2020 in Detroit. Bill Pugliano

"And the bigger issue here that this points to, which is one that we all need to be concerned about is, if we are no longer a country of laws, if we are no longer a country where we know we will be presumed innocent unless proven guilty, then we don't have a democracy," she added.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that the horse patrol unit in Del Rio, Texas, had been temporarily suspended, and that the agents were being investigated.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday that images of the Border Patrol agents "horrified us in terms of what they suggest and what they conjure up."

He also responded to Biden's comments promising that the agents "will pay."

"I know the president was echoing the sentiments of the American public in response to the images and what those images suggest. But I want to speak to the fact that this investigation will be based on the facts that the investigators learn, and the results of the investigation will be driven by those facts and nothing less and nothing more," Mayorkas said.

Claims spread in recent days the border agents used whips on the migrants. However, a photographer who witnessed interactions between the Border Patrol agents on horseback and migrants, said he never saw them whip anyone.

Newsweek has reached out to the White House for comment.