Steyer presses Dems on impeachment before receptive Netroots audience

Steyer presses Dems on impeachment before receptive Netroots audience
© Greg Nash

Billionaire donor Tom Steyer pressed Democrats on impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE in a speech Thursday, calling out his own party's establishment for not backing his effort.

“I don’t see the Democratic establishment doing anything real to stop him,” Steyer said at the progressive Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans, according to The Washington Post.

“They’re not willing to face the devastating and obvious facts about this president. Like the fact that Donald Trump is wildly corrupt, and we are well past the threshold to kick him out of office,” Steyer continued.

Steyer founded the "Need to Impeach" campaign and is behind the multimillion-dollar public effort to convince Democrats to back impeachment.


But the issue of impeachment has divided the party. A handful of prominent liberal lawmakers, including Reps. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Next 24 hours critical for stalled funding talks Democrat vows to move forward with impeachment, dividing his party Citing Virginia race scandals, Dem vows vote to impeach Trump MORE (D-Texas) and Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Lawmakers closing in on border deal | Dems build case for Trump tax returns | Trump, Xi won't meet before trade deadline | Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony on lifting of sanctions on Russian firms Fox's Kilmeade: Why doesn't Trump investigate personal finances of Schiff and Waters? MORE (D-Calif), have championed removing Trump from office, including by introducing articles of impeachment.

In December, 58 House Democrats voted in a failed effort to begin impeachment proceedings.

Green has vowed that the party will try again if it retakes the House in the midterms.

But the impeachment push has faced opposition from party leaders such as House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiConstitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration Why don't we build a wall with Canada? MORE (D-Calif.).

“I don’t think we should be talking about impeachment,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in May.

Party leaders worry that pushing impeachment could cost Democrats votes from independent voters and help mobilize the GOP base as Democrats try to flip the House and Senate this November. 

In his speech Thursday, Steyer blasted the party establishment, saying they "lack common sense" and "have no sense of urgency," according to Fox News.

More than 3,000 people attended the Netroots Foundation’s annual meeting, where lawmakers and party officials are pushing a more progressive agenda for the Democratic party.

More than 5.5 million people have signed Steyer's petition calling for impeachment and a recent poll showed that 42 percent of Americans are in favor of Trump’s impeachment. But there is little chance Trump will be impeached in this Congress.

Steyer told attendees at the conference that things would not get better under Trump.

“Whatever you think of him today, it’s going to get worse,” Steyer said at the conference, according to the Post. “There’s a human expectation that there’s a reversion to the mean. There’s not going to be a reversion to the mean.”