Steyer ramps up impeachment campaign with staff hires in key districts

Steyer ramps up impeachment campaign with staff hires in key districts
© Greg Nash

Billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer is expanding his campaign to impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE.

The liberal former hedge fund manager will deploy paid staffers to two districts represented by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealWyden, Mnuchin clash over Trump tax returns, Hunter Biden probe Overnight Health Care: House panel advances legislation on surprise medical bills | Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Trump abortion coverage rule | CDC identifies 13th US patient with coronavirus White House warns of raising health costs in debate over surprise medical bills MORE (D-Mass.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) as early as next week, according to a person familiar with the plans.

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In all, Steyer’s Need to Impeach campaign is targeting five districts represented by key House committee chairpeople, including Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffPelosi blasts Trump's 'dangerous' pick for intelligence chief Sanders says he was briefed on Russian effort to help campaign Trump: Democrats 'trying to start a rumor' about 2020 Russian interference MORE (D-Calif.), Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsTop Democrats demand answers on DHS plans to deploy elite agents to sanctuary cities House to vote next week on bill to create women's history museum The Hill's Morning Report - Icy moments between Trump, Pelosi mark national address MORE (D-Md.) and Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersMaxine Waters: Gang members have 'more integrity' than 'street player' Trump Maxine Waters blasts Trump as 'mafia boss' over Stone case Democrats highlight lack of diversity at major banks in new report MORE (D-Calif.).

The plan, deemed “Operation Accountability,” is part of a $40 million investment in the impeachment effort Steyer announced earlier this month. Steyer is expected to roll out the effort on Tuesday during a news conference in Washington.

In addition to the staffing moves, Need to Impeach is also slated to release a slew of digital ads in each district urging people to sign onto the group’s petition calling for Trump’s removal from office and putting pressure on lawmakers to take up impeachment proceedings.

Steyer, a wealthy former hedge fund manager turned activist, launched Need to Impeach last year, alleging that Trump’s conduct warranted his removal from office. The group’s petition has so far garnered more than 7 million signatures.

Steyer was once considered a possible contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. He announced earlier this month that he would not launch a campaign for the White House and would instead redouble his efforts to impeach Trump.

"I said all last year that I was going to try and do whatever I consider the most differentially positive thing I could do. I think Mr. Trump is the biggest threat to our country in a generation," Steyer said in an interview with The Hill last week.

"I really just want to do the right thing," he added. "I want to finish the job."

But those efforts have so far floundered in Washington, where congressional leaders have been loath to raise the prospect of impeachment out of concerns that doing so could isolate more moderate voters and energize Trump’s conservative base.

Kevin Mack, the lead strategist for Need to Impeach, said that with Democrats now in control of the House, Need to Impeach and its backers have more room to lobby Democratic lawmakers directly.  

“We’ve been asking them to step up and do the right thing for a year,” Mack said. “Now, they have the Speaker’s gavel, they have the majority to do it.”

Steyer’s planned announcement on Tuesday comes days after Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneRoger Stone moves to disqualify judge Roger Stone deserves a new trial Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter split on Bloomberg video | Sanders briefed on Russian efforts to help campaign | Barr to meet with Republicans ahead of surveillance fight MORE, an informal adviser to Trump, was arrested at his home in Florida and charged with obstruction of justice, making false statements and witness tampering in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Stone is set to appear in court on Tuesday in Washington for his arraignment. He is expected to plead not guilty.