Impeachment activist and presidential candidate Tom Steyer (D) on Monday accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of enabling President Donald Trump’s “lawless” and “criminal” behavior and demanded the House begin impeachment hearings.
“Once again, it appears Donald Trump has asked a foreign power to interfere in our elections and provide information against a political opponent. For far too long, Speaker Pelosi and the House Democratic Leadership have stood by while this lawless president continues this type of criminal behavior,” Steyer said in a statement. “They are failing in their basic duty to oversee the Executive, and their lack of action enables Trump to continue to threaten our democracy. Enough is a enough. Congress must start an immediate and public investigation, with daily hearings into these allegations. History will remember how Congress responds to this moment, and it cannot be complicit with its silence.”
Tom Steyer calls out fellow San Franciscan Nancy Pelosi by name in tough new statement calling for impeachment.
"For far too long, Speaker Pelosi and the House Democratic Leadership have stood by while this lawless president continues this type of criminal behavior." pic.twitter.com/Di4VMs7DOM
— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) September 23, 2019
He added that he started his Need to Impeach group because he felt he had to protect the “country from this lawless president.”
“I started Need to Impeach almost two years ago because I believed it was important to protect our country from this lawless president, and I am renewing my call to start impeachment hearings,” he continued. “It is time for Speaker Pelosi to launch a public inquiry into President Trump and his criminal actions right away. He must be held accountable for his crimes.”
Left-wing activists in recent weeks have been pressuring moderate freshman House Democrats to support impeachment, with some activists even arguing that some House Democrats should sacrifice their House seats to allow the House to impeach Trump. Some are also making the argument that impeaching Trump will actually help Democrats win the back the White House in 2020.
Last week, two top officials of the Need to Impeach group argued that Democrats must impeach the most corrupt president in the country’s history because “far from activating Trump’s base and turning some independents against Democrats, impeachment might indeed be the main path to ousting Trump in 2020.”
Writing in the New York Daily News, Need to Impeach’s Kevin Mack and Nathaly Arriola accused Democrats of “trying to fence without a sword, thinking they can appease the public by carefully maneuvering and dancing around impeachment while avoiding ruffling up Trump’s base,” and pointed out that “the public is likely more sympathetic to impeaching Trump than leadership wants to believe.”
They also said the House leadership is giving “lip-service to one of the biggest unifying issues within the Democratic Party while throwing cold water on its base and abdicating their constitutional responsibility” while actively trying to turn “public against impeachment.”
They added that the recent vote “by the House Judiciary Committee to establish rules and procedures for the forthcoming investigations into Trump’s conduct was a welcome development” and is a sign that some within the party are ready to fight alongside voters to hold Trump accountable.”
“Yet it appears Democratic leadership continues to equivocate, failing to do what’s so glaringly right and push to impeach Trump,” they continued.
The impeachment activists also noted that impeachment for Trump has received “steadily strong levels of support” from the public even “without the majority party in the House using its weight to shape public opinion” and made the case that even though the Senate will not convict Trump, “having a President who is perceived by a growing majority of the country as a criminal would be a difficult position for the president and Republican Party to defend.”
They added that history shows that “impeachment even without a conviction in the Senate is a politically potent tool, if not a moral necessity when the moment calls for it.” The impeachment activists pointed out that Andrew Johnson’s impeachment “was crucial to paving the wave for Ulysses S. Grant to win the presidency and continue Reconstruction after the Civil War.” In addition, when it comes to public sentiment, they pointed out that “public approval for impeachment only reached majority support after the House Judiciary Committee voted for impeachment” of former President Richard Nixon.
Presidential candidate Julian Castro (D) has also been making a similar argument on the stump, arguing that Trump will have the upper hand in 2020 if the House does not impeach him because he will justifiably claim a “clean bill of political health.”
“If we don’t move forward with impeachment against Donald Trump, what Trump is going to say in the fall of 2020 is, ‘You see, these folks that are always trying to investigate me, they talked a big game about impeachment. You know why they didn’t move forward with it? Because they didn’t have any evidence. I didn’t do anything wrong,’” Castro has recently said. “So basically, you’re going to give him a clean bill of political health.”