California politics news feed

This is Essential Politics, our in-the-moment look at California political and government news.

Sign up for our free newsletter for analysis and more, and subscribe to the California Politics Podcast. Also don't miss our Essential Politics page in Sunday's California section.

2018 election

Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer launches nationwide call for Trump's impeachment

Billionaire environmentalist and megadonor Tom Steyer has launched a nationwide TV and digital campaign asking Americans to petition their members of Congress to impeach President Trump.

"He's brought us to the brink of nuclear war, obstructed justice at the FBI, and in direct violation of the Constitution has taken money from foreign governments and threatened to shut down news organizations that report the truth. If that isn't a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become?" Steyer says in the video, which identifies him as simply "American Citizen."

"Join us and tell your member of Congress that they have a moral responsibility to stop doing what’s political and start doing what’s right," Steyer says in the ad.

The ad is part of both an eight-figure national television buy and a seven-figure digital ad buy. It directs people to a website with a petition.

Steyer has donated tens of millions to Democratic candidates, and funded get-out-the-vote operations through his climate change political action committee, including a new effort targeting GOP House members in California. He's also weighing a run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is seeking another term.

Steyer this week also penned an open letter asking mayors and governors to support impeaching Trump. It contains a veiled swipe at the long-serving Feinstein, who angered some progressives in August by urging "patience" and saying Trump could grow to become a good president.

"This is not a time to give in to an establishment that insists on acting the way the establishment always does, with “patience” or “caution.” It is an unprecedented moment, and it calls for extraordinary measures," the letter says.

Steyer sent a similar letter last week to Democratic members and congressional candidates, demanding they support impeachment if the party regains control of Congress in 2018. It made similiar references to "patience."

Few incumbent Democrats have called for Trump to be impeached outright, but Steyer is one of the largest Democratic donors and they could find it difficult to continue to avoid the topic.

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World