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Tom Steyer shuts down his Need to Impeach operation after failed 2020 bid, Trump acquittal

Tom Steyer, co-founder of NextGen Climate Action Committee and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during the 61st Annual McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020.

Adam Glanzman | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Billionaire and former presidential candidate Tom Steyer is shutting down his organization that advocated the impeachment of President Donald Trump. 

Steyer, a businessman who founded Need to Impeach in 2017 to call on Congress to impeach and remove Trump from office, has decided it’s time for the political action committee to close after the president was indeed impeached by the Democratic-led House late last year, according to his spokesman. The GOP-led Senate acquitted the president in February. 

“Tom started Need to Impeach two and half years ago and committed over $75 million of his own money to help shine a light on this lawless president. Over eight million Americans joined that effort and their voices were heard loud and clear when the House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump,” Benjamin Gerdes, the spokesman, told CNBC. “With the work complete, Need to Impeach is wrapping up, but Tom’s commitment to taking on Donald Trump continues.” 

When asked if “wrapping up” means Need to Impeach is shutting down, Gerdes confirmed that was indeed the case. 

It doesn’t appear Need to Impeach will be evolving into a new venture. The organization’s website says it is “transitioning to Need to Vote — our movement to hold Republican Senators and the President accountable.” No other details are given, except that it calls for people to sign up for an email list. Executive director Nathaly Arriola’s LinkedIn page says that she’s now the executive director of Need to Vote. 

However, Gerdes, the Steyer spokesman, said it is not a new group. 

“It’s not the start of a new organization – it’s simply an opportunity to encourage the NTI list to commit to vote in November,” he said. 

Gerdes said Steyer has committed over $50 million this year to help fund grassroots organizing dedicated to defeating Trump.

Steyer dropped out of the Democratic primary for president after failing to pick up delegates in South Carolina, where he had invested millions of his dollars in his campaign to win the Feb. 29 primary there. Steyer stepped down from his leadership post at Need to Impeach when he decided last year to get into the race. 

Steyer has given nothing to the super PAC since he dropped out, and they have just over $650,000 on hand, according to their latest first quarter filing. He was the main donor to Need to Impeach.

Steyer recently endorsed apparent Democratic nominee Joe Biden. In an interview with Politico, Steyer said the former vice president is “going to have to show, in terms of policy, that Joe Biden is more progressive than people understand him to be.” 

Representatives from Need to Impeach did not return multiple requests for comment. 

Need to Impeach advocated for Trump’s removal throughout special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and the congressional impeachment process. Millions of people signed their petition calling for Trump’s removal. The organization aired multiple TV ads highlighting what it considered the president’s transgressions. 

Need to Impeach, along with Steyer’s other group, NextGen America, were involved in get-out-the-vote efforts that helped Democrats take back the House during the 2018 midterm elections. 

NextGen America recently co-signed a letter to Biden calling on him to disallow Wall Street executives from either being campaign advisors or members of his cabinet. 

Steyer’s funding of the PAC continued all the way through his run for president. A Federal Election Commission filing that covered July through December of last year showed that Steyer gave the organization over $4 million. Steyer announced his run for president in July. Vox reported in November that Need to Impeach had scaled back their operations after some of its staff started working for his campaign. 

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