Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) spent Memorial Day weekend campaigning in Iowa, as she continues trying to reach the required threshold of donors needed to participate in the upcoming Democratic primary debates scheduled for June 26 and June 27, the first of six debates planned in 2019.
To appear on stage for the June debates, the Democratic National Committee requires candidates to poll at 1 percent or higher in three pre-approved polls or have 65,000 unique donors in no less than 20 states.
Gillibrand, a New York State Senator for 10 years, earlier this month said in an interview with CNN that the 65,000-threshold for the first debate is an “odd measurable.” Speaking in Iowa, she said her campaign is “very close” to meeting the threshold.
The DNC on Wednesday announced tougher benchmarks for the third debate on Sept. 12.
Gillibrand Is Focused On More Than Debates
While campaigning in Iowa, Gillibrand addressed gun control and how gun control is tied to campaign finance. The Senator then took to Twitter this week to share her views on reproductive rights and the impeachment of Donald Trump.
Several states, including Georgia, Indiana, Alabama, Missouri and Louisiana have passed restrictive abortion laws in recent weeks.
The senator tweeted about reproductive rights multiple times this week, saying in one tweet, “This is an attack on our human rights, and we either fight like hell or we lose them.”
After Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards broke ranks with his party Thursday and signed a fetal heartbeat abortion ban, Gillibrand said he “is turning his back on Louisiana women.”
On Thursday, Sen. Gillibrand called for impeachment after Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave his first public statement about his office’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller’s statement, which can be viewed below, appears to have cemented the idea of impeachment for Gillibrand, who has previously supported further investigation to determine if impeachment is appropriate.
In a statement after Mueller spoke, Gillibrand said, “The White House has repeatedly stonewalled Congress’ ability to take basic fact-finding steps and make an informed decision. Combined with the fact that Robert Mueller clearly expects Congress to exercise its constitutional authority and take steps that he could not, it’s time for Republicans and Democrats to begin impeachment hearings and follow the facts wherever they may lead.”
Gillibrand’s remarks came just hours after Mueller said at a news conference that his office did not charge the president with a crime as a result of the Special Counsel’s investigation, saying it was “not an option” under existing Department of Justice guidelines.
“We cannot let this president defy basic accountability measures built into our Constitution,” she said Wednesday.
Calls for impeachment are growing, with 50 House members (49 democrats, 1 republican) now calling for an impeachment inquiry to begin, according to Ari Melber at MSNBC on Thursday. Now, like several Democrats hoping to take on Trump in 2020, Gillibrand has interpreted Mueller’s prepared statement as an impeachment referral to Congress.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s statement: