Members Only | October 25, 2019 | Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tulsi Gabbard Sure Acts Like a Spoiler

Why is she lying so much?

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I asked Thursday why the Republicans were lying about the House investigation into possible impeachable offenses by the president. More than 30 House “conservatives” pushed their way into a secure room at the Capitol Wednesday, delaying testimony for five hours. They demanded to know what the Democrats were hiding. They weren’t hiding anything. Other Republicans were in the room at the time the yahoos barged in.

Other Republicans were in the room, because that’s how congressional committees work. They are bipartisan—all of them—with a mix of majorities and minorities depending on who’s in control of the House (which itself is determined by the majority). Everyone in the Congress knows Republicans sit on all the committees, because you’d be an idiot not to. So now I have to ask: why is Tulsi Gabbard lying?

The Democratic representative from Hawaii, who’s running for president, appeared on Fox News last night to say: “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.”

Actually, members of Congress do have access to that information—if you are a member of one of the investigating committees. If you are not, you do not have access, according to the House rules updated in 2015 when the Republicans controlled the lower chamber and approved by a Republican majority under former House Speaker John Boehner. Moreover, these same rules were strictly enforced by Trey Gowdy when he led the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s role in the 2012 Benghazi disaster.

Furthermore, everyone knows we are in the investigation phase of the impeachment process, meaning that it is not subject to the same degree of public transparency and therefore public scrutiny demanded of open trials. An investigation must come before an indictment, which comes before a trial. The House is in charge of investigating and bringing an indictment against the president (that’s what impeachment is). The Senate will be where the trial takes place. A hundred senators will be Donald Trump’s jury.

Every single Republican member of the Congress knows this. Yet they have been accusing the Democrats of holding “secret” meetings to overturn a presidential election. (Some of those yahoos, by the way, sit on the investigating committees. They want you to believe the Democrats are hiding facts they in fact know all about. I guess if they pretend not to know for long enough, they can turn public opinion against the Democrats.) And now here’s Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, singing the same tune.

Remember: the question isn’t whether she’s lying. We know she is. As I said, everyone elected to the United States Congress knows how committees work. When you know the truth but make statements contrary to that truth, you are knowingly lying. This is not a matter of normal everyday Washington spin. This is different. This is malicious.

This is not a matter of normal everyday Washington spin. This is different. This is malicious.

Gabbard is performing terribly as a presidential candidate. She’s no where near the top three or four candidates—Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and maybe Pete Buttigieg. Like everyone else polling at 1 or 2 percent, she’s scrambling for money, votes and attention. Her attention-getting strategy appears to be telling Fox-viewing audiences everything they believe about the Democrats is absolutely true. It’s moreover telling non-Democratic crazy-left Young Turks audiences the very same thing. In “verifying” the falsehoods they believe are true, Gabbard is again lying.

But why? She can’t win the Democratic nomination. Lying won’t help with her current job. Under threat by a primary challenger, she said today she won’t run for reelection. She could be growing a following to tap into for some kind of business venture later on. (Writing and selling a book, perhaps.) Or she could be laying the ground work for a third-party candidacy. That’s something the president and his party would like to see.

It’s also something the Kremlin would like to see. Just as Russian propagandists elevated Bernie Sanders’ name to heights unimaginable in 2016, it’s likely they will do that again next year. All they need is right candidate. Tulsi Gabbard fits the bill.

She’s critical of America’s endless wars, but at the same time she’s championed Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, even meeting him after he gassed his own people to death with Russian chemical weapons. She fought against arming Syrian rebels knowing that the Kremlin backs Assad. Moreover, Gabbard has taken the president’s line, saying the Mueller report exonerated Trump even though no serious person believes that. On the contrary, it’s a fact that the Russians helped Trump win. Yet Tulsi Gabbard demurs.

She says she’s not going to be a spoiler.

But she sure acts like one.

—John Stoehr

John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.

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