Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) said she did not "take the easy vote" when she broke with the majority of her party on Wednesday and voted "present" on two articles of impeachment against President Trump. She felt her vote "was in the best interest of our country," the congresswoman told NBC.

The big picture: Gabbard is the only 2020 presidential candidate who had a chance to vote on impeachment, and she has criticized the process as partisan, the New York Times reports. She favors a measure to censure Trump rather than impeaching him.

What she's saying:

"Congress has the opportunity to send a strong message to this president and all future presidents that Congress will not allow abuses of power to go unchecked, while still respecting the people of this country, who have the power to cast their votes and decide whether or not to remove this president. And I really believe that they will."

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.