Billionaire Activist Tom Steyer: Democrats Must Use Impeachment Process to Hold President Trump Accountable

Trump, Steyer argues, deserves impeachment for “a longstanding pattern of obstructing justice” by trying to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia-related investigation.

Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer addresses the March to Break Free from Fossil Fuels on May 14, 2016 in Los Angeles. (Credit: DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images)

With Democrats having obtained a majority in the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterms, a debate one will be hearing a lot in Democratic Party circles is: to impeach, or not to impeach? Democratic opponents of impeaching President Donald Trump argue that even with a House majority; Democrats shouldn’t overplay their hand. But Democratic activist Tom Steyer, founder of Need to Impeach and NextGen America, doesn’t agree. Steyer is very much a proponent of impeachment, and he outlines his reasons in his latest op-ed for the New York Times.

 

Steyer opens his article by describing the blue wave that occurred on November 6. Democrats, Steyer notes, “received 7% more votes than Republicans—about three million—in an election that saw a higher percentage of voters than any midterm since 1966. Those voters flipped seven governorships and 367 state legislative seats to Democrats, giving them majorities in seven more state chambers.”

 

But that blue wave, Steyer quickly adds, “should have been even bigger. Democrats’ inability to run the table on a Republican Party that depended on lying, race-baiting and suppressing the vote is a sign that the American people do not know what the Democratic Party stands for.” And impeachment, Steyer asserts, would be a way for Democrats to show voters that they mean business when it comes to holding Trump accountable.

 

“As President Trump continues to accelerate his lawlessness,” Steyer declares, “the new Democratic House majority must initiate impeachment proceedings against him as soon as it takes office in January.”

 

Trump, Steyer argues, deserves impeachment for “a longstanding pattern of obstructing justice” by trying to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia-related investigation—and Steyer cites the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on November 7 as an egregious example. Trump, Steyer asserts, continued his pattern of corruption “by firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and installing Matthew Whitaker—who has publicly called for curtailing the special counsel’s investigation—as acting attorney general, sparking a constitutional crisis that threatens the rule of law itself.”

 

Mueller’s probe, Steyer adds, is “at risk” because “Whitaker could prevent the special counsel’s team from reaching a just conclusion or even releasing its findings to the public.”

 

Fellow Democrats who oppose impeachment, Steyer stresses, are doing their party a disservice and “must stand up for the safety of the American people and our entire democratic system.”

 

“We cannot allow this to be an argument about what Republicans will permit,” Steyer concludes. “It’s about demanding the truth and protecting the foundations of our free society. Anything less would mean abandoning the Constitution.”

 

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Alex Henderson is a news writer at AlterNet and veteran political journalist. His work has also appeared in Salon, Raw Story, Truthdig, National Memo, Philadelphia Weekly, Democratic Underground, L.A. Weekly, MintPress News and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter @alexvhenderson.