Tom Steyer on Impeaching Trump: ‘What Are We Waiting For?’

WASHINGTON — Tom Steyer, the progressive billionaire leading a campaign to impeach President Trump, said candidates running for office this fall need to address “what we are going to do about a lawless, reckless, and dangerous president.”

He tells Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM that if the candidates “are not for impeachment,” they should explain “what is their solution to the lawlessness and recklessness of this president?”

“The question should be, and I would pose it, what are we waiting for? How much information do you need? If the level of corruption isn’t too much for you, how many laws does he have to break before you decide he has to go?”

The “i” word has been a topic that a number of Democrats fear will backfire on the party as it faces the midterms, and instead want to focus on what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calls a “culture of corruption.”

But Steyer said the convictions of Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort were a “straightforward piece of evidence about the lawlessness that surrounds this president and the lawlessness that he’s participated in.”

“That is something that we have believed to be true and argued is true for at least 10 months, but I felt as if this was strong corroborating evidence,” he said.

Popular on Variety

Since the Manafort and Cohen convictions, the idea of impeachment has gained support from columnist Bret Stephens and political strategist Steve Schmidt, two conservatives who have been Trump critics, Steyer noted.

“I think we are starting to see leading Republican thinkers coming around to the idea that actually, what we need to repair this country is to get rid of this president,” Steyer said.

Steyer has poured millions into the Need to Impeach campaign, and has collected 5.5 million signatures in the effort to impeach Trump. Last week, he announced that he was spending an additional $10 million on a Need to Vote campaign to mobilize the electorate, drawing on the petition list to organize and make direct content.

He said about 4 million petition signers are people who don’t normally vote in midterms, and that “works out to about 13,000 people per congressional district.

The consternation among Democratic leaders over Steyer’s effort is that it will give Republicans an issue to rally around in response. In July, Pelosi said that impeachment was “off the table” if Democrats win back the House and that it would be a “gift” to Republicans. Her caveat was if new information came to light.

Steyer said their recent polling shows that Republicans’ main fears are that Democrats will raise taxes, that they will be soft on immigration, and that they will elect Pelosi as the next speaker. “Not even close to the top three is impeachment.”

“The thing is, no matter what I say, no matter what Nancy Pelosi says, this election, to a very large extent, will be a referendum on this president and his administration,” Steyer says. “I don’t think there’s any question about that, and so I think that anybody who is running for office should be speaking plainly to the American people about what we are going to do about a lawless, reckless, and dangerous president.”

He is also not ruling out running Need to Impeach ads in September and October. “We might put on ads to respond to something specifically,” he said.

The complete interview will air from 2-3 p.m. ET/11 a.m.-noon PT on “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also will be available on demand.

Here’s a clip:

More Politics

  • Donald Trump acquittal

    Trump Campaign Sues New York Times Over Russia 'Collusion' Column

    The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the New York Times, alleging that the paper had defamed him by running a column that alluded to an “overarching deal” between Trump and Russia. The column, entitled “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo,” was written by Max Frankel, the 89-year-old former executive editor of the [...]

  • Dem Debate

    Democratic Debate: Mike Bloomberg Slams Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren Hammers Both

    Mike Bloomberg threw his first punch early in Tuesday’s Democratic Debate in Charleston, S.C., taking aim at Bernie Sanders over recent reports that Russian hackers are trying to assist his campaign for the presidency. Bloomberg, the billionaire owner of Bloomberg News and former New York City mayor, responded to Sanders’ opening remarks about economic equality [...]

  • Police and rescue workers stand next

    Dozens Injured as Car Plows Into German Carnival Parade

    More than 30 people were injured on Monday in the western German town of Volkmarsen when a man drove his car into a crowd of people watching a carnival parade. The 29-year-old driver, reportedly a German national, is suspected of purposely targeting the crowd when he drove a Mercedes-Benz station wagon into the Rose Monday [...]

  • The Suspended Mourning

    Berlin: Hernan Caffiero Sets Up Two Series About Victims of Police Violence as Chilean Industry Protests Brutality (EXCLUSIVE)

    Inspired by the victims of violent crackdowns by Chilean police, filmmaker Hernán Caffiero is looking to tell their story. Caffiero is currently developing two series about human rights crimes and the effects of police brutality in Chile, one a four-part documentary, the other a follow-up to his Intl. Emmy-winning “The Suspended Mourning,” a dramatized collection [...]

  • Bernie Sanders, Jane Sanders. Democratic presidential

    Bernie Sanders Wins Nevada Democratic Caucus

    UPDATED: Bernie Sanders has won the Nevada caucus. Per the Associated Press, Sanders has captured 46.8% of the delegates with 10% of precincts reporting. Joe Biden is in a distant second with 20.2%. Peter Buttigieg finished third with 14.3% with Elizabeth Warren in fourth with 9.7%. Tom Steyer finished fifth with 4.7%. Amy Klobuchar round [...]

  • Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Ditches Donald Trump for Mike Bloomberg in 2020 Election

    Longtime Republican Clint Eastwood is pulling support from Donald Trump in the 2020 election. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the actor-director signaled that he thinks a different candidate would be the better choice. “The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” he said. After endorsing Mitt Romney [...]

  • EFM 1st European Film Politics Seminar

    Berlin: 1st European Film Politics Seminar - Protecting Independent Film Production

    Leading industry reps gathered on the opening day of Berlin’s European Film Market for what is certain to be a continuing discussion about leveling the playing field for independent producers across Europe and demanding greater engagement in the sector from global players. The 1st European Film Politics Seminar aims to set the political agenda of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content