CNN anchor and talk radio host Michael Smerconish brought to the airways Saturday the debate among progressives as to whether Democrats should fight to impeach President Donald Trump.
In October, billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer launched a $10 million television ad campaign calling for impeachment — that panicked Fox News. Last week, Raw Story reported on a second ad calling for impeachment, this one also featuring a $10 million advertising budget.
CNN’s Smerconish asked Steyer to make his case for removing Trump from office.
“Well Michael, I think there’s no question the president has obstructed justice in his firing of the head of the FBI, which he said he did because he persisted in the Russia investigation,” Steyer reminded. “And I think that he has broken the Emoluments Clause virtually on a daily basis. And I think that his public request for the justice department to do a criminal investigation of his political opponents is also a clear abuse of power.”
“In effect, what the Constitution says about impeachment is that the president cannot be allowed to violate his trust with the American people and the spirit of his office,” Steyer explained. “And he’s clearly done that.”
Smerconish, a former staffer to George HW Bush, pushed back by asking if removing Trump from office would create a precedent Democrats might someday regret.
“He has committed these infractions, committed these acts in public. We don’t need to go through the tapes of his phone calls or tapes of e-mails because he’s done it right in front of our eyes and then he’s admitted it,” Steyer noted. “This is a president who is a clear and present danger to the American people.”
“Might you be helping him?” Smerconish asked. “Might you be helping him, in so far as the Trump base sees your ads…and they interpret your ads as your attempt to overturn a legitimate presidential election that we just had and they then become emboldened in their support of Donald Trump?”
Steyer responded that he was not going to “make political calculations about which segment of the population would this appeal to, which segment of the population would this annoy.”
“Instead, we’re trying to do something very different from that, Michael. We’re trying to do the right thing and we’re trying to do the moral thing, because we think it’s important,” Steyer answered.
President Trump is worried about having so many ads aired against him. In October, he lashed out at Steyer.
Wacky & totally unhinged Tom Steyer, who has been fighting me and my Make America Great Again agenda from beginning, never wins elections!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2017
That tweet preceded Steyer’s announcement that he was doubling his investment, from $10 million to $20 million.