Post-Shutdown, Tom Steyer’s Impeachment Push Stokes Democrat Divisions

Thomas 'Tom' Steyer, founder of Farallon Capital Management LLC, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in Pescadero, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. Keystone XL will be a 'major driver' of oil sands expansion that significantly raises the risks of climate change, said Steyer, a former hedge fund manager …
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Left-wing billionaire Tom Steyer is continuing to push his impeachment agenda as the Democratic Party faces new divisions in the wake of its embarrassing capitulation to President Donald Trump in the recent shutdown fight.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) was forced to retreat Monday after shutting down the federal government on Friday by prodding his caucus to filibuster a vote on a continuing resolution that did not include provisions to shelter illegal aliens who were brought to the country as children, and whose protections will expire when the controversial Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program expires on March 5.

In the wake of that collapse, the left wing of the Democratic Party has been furious at Schumer — not just for giving in, but for squandering the party’s momentum and showing how little support its immigration policies enjoy. On Tuesday evening, hundreds of pro-amnesty protesters marched on Schumer’s home in New York City.

Steyer’s effort, which has seen him spend $20 million on television advertisements advocating impeachment, and will will see him spend at least $30 million more to support candidates who promise to vote to impeach Trump, is stoking the emerging divisions between the left-wing base of the party and its more cautious Beltway leadership.

The New York Times reported Tuesday:

Democratic leaders have pressed one of their most prolific donors privately, urging him to tone down his campaign calling for President Trump’s impeachment. They have prodded him in public, declaring on television that they consider impeachment an impractical idea. And party strategists have pleaded with Democratic candidates for Congress not to join in.

But that donor, Tom Steyer, a California billionaire, has only intensified his attacks in recent weeks. Buoyed by tens of millions of dollars in television commercials — financed out of his own pocket and starring him — Mr. Steyer has become one of Mr. Trump’s most visible antagonists, firing up angry Democrats and unnerving his own party with the ferocity of his efforts.

There is no realistic chance of impeaching Mr. Trump while Republicans control Congress, and Democrats from moderate and conservative districts fear the idea could alienate voters otherwise likely to vote their way in November.

But the Democratic base, enraged by Mr. Trump and frustrated by party leaders counseling restraint, appears enthusiastically open to seeking the president’s removal.

Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are both known to be skeptical of Steyer’s efforts. But it is no longer clear that they can steer their own party’s agenda, and they may be forced to adapt to his priorities.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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