By Ted Johnson
LOS ANGELES (Variety) – WASHINGTON — Tom Steyer, the billionaire philanthropist and environmental activist, said he will not run for president in 2020 and instead will focus on removing President Donald Trump from office.
“The impeachment question has reached an inflection point,” Steyer said on Twitter. “That’s why I just announced that I will be dedicating 100% of my time and effort in 2019 towards Mr. Trump’s impeachment and removal from office.”
Steyer held a press conference in Des Moines, Iowa, to announce his plans, which include spending $40 million this year on his Need to Impeach campaign. Last year, he spent millions on extensive TV ad campaigns calling for Trump’s impeachment, and while some top Democrats tried to distance themselves from the effort, Steyer said he ultimately signed up 7 million supporters.
Steyer said the money will be spent this year on public education, town halls, organizing, and an “impeachment summit” in Washington. He said they will concentrate on key House Democrats who chair committees tasked with oversight and investigations, including House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. He also said they will focus on voters in states where Republican senators are up for re-election in 2020.
“Some continue to argue that holding this president accountable for his illegal, immoral behavior would be too divisive,” Steyer wrote on Twitter. “They are avoiding the truth: Mr. Trump has made division the centerpiece of his presidency. That’s why he must go.”
CNN said Steyer spent $120 million on his political efforts last year. That sum included the impeachment campaign as well as an effort to register younger voters for the midterms.