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 TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser 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.

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But the issue of impeachment has divided the party. A handful of prominent liberal lawmakers, including Reps. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenNew grounds for impeachment? House Dem says Trump deserves it for making society worse Sessions gets unexpected support - from a Democrat who wants to impeach Trump Impeachment will be at the top of Democrats' agenda if they take the House majority MORE (D-Texas) and Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersKavanaugh fight roils an already ugly political climate Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada On The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills 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 PelosiDems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act 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.”