Progressive billionaire Tom Steyer is slated to air a new advertisement advocating for impeachment on Fox & Friends, President Donald Trump’s favorite television program.
Need to Impeach, the San Francisco–based group founded by Steyer, is pouring $700,000 into the 60-second ad scheduled to broadcast when the president is likely to be watching the Fox News show. It will also run on CNN and MSNBC, along with other cable networks in early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.
“Right now, Donald Trump is committing crimes in the open,” Steyer begins in the ad, before citing President Trump’s recent suggestion he is open to considering accepting opposition research on his 2020 Democrat rivals as well as the White House’s ongoing fight with House Democrats over subpoenas. “The Mueller report identified multiple instances of obstruction of justice.”
“Congress, and that means both parties, must put their own political interests aside and focus on what’s right for our country,” the longtime Democrat donor continues. “America will move forward as soon as leaders stop acting on their own interest, start leveling with voters and do what’s right.”
Plans to air the ad signal Steyer has no plans to let up in his pressure campaign targeting Democrat leadership on Capitol Hill to begin an impeachment inquiry. Thus far, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has maintained there are no plans to launch proceedings, despite 69 Democrats and one Republican publically expressing support for the move. In a March, Steyer, a long time friend of Pelosi, argued the speaker is just plain wrong about resisting calls to remove the president.
“Speaker Pelosi thinks ‘he’s just not worth it?’ Well, is defending our legal system ‘worth it?’ Is holding the president accountable for his crimes and cover-ups ‘worth it?’ Is doing what’s right ‘worth it?’ Or shall America just stop fighting for our principles and do what’s politically convenient,” he said.
Speaking Wednesday at a Christian Science Monitor event, Pelosi said it’s important Senate Republicans and the American public are onboard before pursuing impeachment. “It is important for the American people to see the purpose on why we’re going forward,” she said. “If you are going to go down this path you have to make sure the public has an understanding of why.”
“I don’t think you should have an inquiry unless you’re ready to impeach,” the longtime California Democrat added. “I feel no pressure from my members to do anything, I have no pressure on them to do anything.”
Meanwhile, Pelosi’s repeated pumping of the impeachment breaks has created a growing rift between her and the increasingly vocal progressive House Democrats. Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who warned Sunday that some lawmakers are increasingly perturbed by Pelosi’s reluctance to move forward with removing the president.
“I think it’s quite real,” the New York Democrat told ABC’s This Week when asked if progressive members of Congress are frustrated with the speaker. “I believe that there is a very real animus and desire to make sure that we are — that — that we are holding this president to account.”
“I think that impeachment is incredibly serious, and this is about the presence and evidence that the president may have committed a crime, in this case, more than one,” she added. “And so I believe that our decision on impeachment should be based in our constitutional responsibilities and duties and not in elections or polling.”