Tulsi Gabbard Criticizes 'Partisan' Impeachment Inquiry: 'It Needs to be a Transparent Process'

Tulsi Gabbard has poured cold water on the impeachment inquiry, raising concerns about its transparency and suggesting it is being run in a "partisan" way.

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate told Fox News host Sean Hannity that she didn't know what was going on at the "closed door" hearings being held in the Capitol's basement, and said Americans "deserved to know exactly what the facts are."

Her comments on the impeachment inquiry echoed criticisms made by House Republicans, who tried to storm the secure room where testimonies were being heard behind closed doors on Wednesday.

The stunt was widely derided by Democrats, with 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg saying it was an "embarrassment" and Rep. Ro Khanna, who was in the room, saying it resembled a "fraternity" scene.

Speaking to Sean Hannity about the impeachment inquiry on Fox News last night, Gabbard strayed from her colleagues.

"I think it needs to be a transparent process," she said. "I have long expressed my concern about going through impeachment proceedings in a very, very partisan way because it will only tear apart an already divided country."

Gabbard clarified that she supported the launch of the impeachment inquiry, adding: "I think that inquiry needs to be done in a very narrowly focused way and it must be done transparently.

"I don't know what's going on in those closed doors, we as members of Congress don't have access to the information that is being shared, and I think that the American people deserve to know exactly what the facts are... as this inquiry goes on."

While not all members of Congress have access to the impeachment hearings being held behind closed doors, both Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees can access the proceedings, as well as their staffers.

Hannity also asked Gabbard to talk about comments Hillary Clinton made about the Hawaii representative being the favourite candidate of Russia on the Campaign HQ podcast with David Plouffe.

After saying that she and other veterans "fight for peace" having seen the cost of war, Gabbard said: "So what is so concerning about what Hillary Clinton is doing here is she is not only calling me a traitor. She's not only trying to smear my character. She's sending a warning out to every veteran... anyone who stands up against the warmongering foreign policies that really are her legacy."

The representative of Hawaii has made headlines with several responses to Hillary Clinton's suggestion that she was a "favourite of the Russians" and being groomed by the country—but the increased media attention doesn't appear to have boosted her poll numbers.

The latest average of 2020 Democratic presidential nomination polls by Real Clear Politics puts Gabbard in 10th place with only 1.3 percent of Democrats backing her in the race.

Tulsi Gabbard
Democratic presidential candidate Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) speaks during the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention at the SNHU Arena on September 7 in Manchester, New Hampshire Scott Eisen/Getty