Hedge fund manager turned environmental billionaire Tom Steyer is spending $10 million on a national ad campaign calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. A one-minute television ad, launched by Steyer last Friday, accuses Trump of raising the likelihood of nuclear war with North Korea, obstructing justice in his termination of former FBI director James Comey, and violating the Constitution by taking money from foreign governments and threatening to shut down press organizations.
“Like you, I’m a citizen who knows it’s up to us to do something,” Steyer says in the ad, directing viewers to his website, NeedToImpeach.com. The site includes an open letter from Steyer as well as a petition that visitors can sign to support impeachment.
An aide to Steyer said in an e-mail that the $10 million television ad buy will also be accompanied by a multi-million dollar digital advertising campaign. Steyer has yet to determine how long the ads will run for.
In addition to financing the advertising campaign, Steyer also spoke at a rally at San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday and called for a resolution introduced by San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Sandra Lee Fewer to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.
Since as early as May, city governments have passed similar resolutions in support of impeachment proceedings, including the city councils of Los Angeles and Chicago. But Steyer is the first billionaire to come out loud and strong, spending millions of dollars in an effort to get President Trump impeached.
A political megadonor, Steyer spent some $65 million during the 2016 election cycle supporting environmental causes and Democratic politicians, including presidential candidate Martin O’Malley.
Steyer’s petition comes on the heels of ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org, a campaign run by non-profit organizations Free Speech For People and RootsAction, which has so far recruited 1.2 million signatures. In August, the Impeach Donald Trump Now campaign crowd-funded just over $5,000 for a billboard less than a mile away from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida, calling for petition signatures.
Steyer’s ad, which calls Trump “mentally unstable [and] armed with nuclear weapons,” has received support on Twitter from Hollywood stars including Judd Apatow and will.i.am. No other billionaires have openly expressed support for Steyer’s campaignso far.
In July, Democratic Congressmen Brad Sherman of California and Al Green of Texas filed an article for impeachment against Trump for obstruction of justice, the first lawmakers to formally introduce impeachment proceedings against Trump on the congressional floor. Given that the House and the Senate are controlled by the Republican Party, the odds of a Republican-led impeachment of Trump are not high.
A White House spokesperson has not yet responded to a request for comment.