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Steyer's impeachment campaign to launch first ad after midterms
Billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer is looking to ramp up pressure on incoming members of Congress to take the first steps toward removing President Trump from the White House.
Need to Impeach, a campaign launched last year by Steyer, is set to begin airing a new national television and digital ad on Tuesday, urging voters to put pressure on newly elected representatives to back impeachment proceedings against Trump.
"Americans rose up this November and rejected Donald Trump," Steyer says in the six-figure ad spot.
"You gave Democrats the power to hold him in check," he continues. "A majority vote in the House can impeach him and expose his lawless behavior for all to see. They just need the will."
The ad is set to air on CNN and MSNBC beginning Tuesday afternoon.
Kevin Mack, the lead strategist for Need to Impeach, said the ad's debut would essentially serve as a test launch and that the group would increase the ad buy if it's deemed effective.
Need to Impeach spent much of the past year backing Democratic efforts to flip control of the House in the midterm elections, working in particular to boost turnout among infrequent voters in 44 congressional districts.
Democrats have so far gained 37 seats in the chamber - far more than the 23 they needed to win a majority. A handful of races in New York, Georgia and Utah remain too close to call.
But with the midterms largely in the rearview, Steyer's campaign is looking to ramp up pressure on the House, where impeachment charges against a president must originate.
Steyer, a liberal donor and former hedge fund manager, launched Need to Impeach last year in a bid to rally public support for Trump's removal from office.
A petition circulated by the campaign has so far garnered more than 6.3 million signatures, and the group has spent millions on ads urging support for impeachment.
Mack said the group had developed an "eight-point plan" to guide it through 2019 and into 2020, when Trump himself will be up for reelection.
Part of that plan will focus on mobilizing supporters ahead of Jan. 3 when new members of Congress will be sworn into office.
While impeachment proceedings start in the House, the Senate would have to convict the president before he could be removed from office.
But a conviction in the current Senate appears unlikely. The chamber is controlled by the GOP, and Republicans widened their majority in the chamber in the elections.
"This is a step by step process," Mack said. "Impeachment begins in the House, so that's where our attention is right now."