COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Billionaire investor and Democratic activist Tom Steyer is bringing his call for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump back to South Carolina, a state he says has a special status in the conversation due to its early place on the presidential primary voting calendar.
Tom Steyer told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he's coming back to the state early next week for events in Columbia and on Hilton Head Island. Telling AP that impeachment is a "leadership test" for presidential candidates, Steyer said that South Carolinians can push the issue with the Democratic hopefuls streaming into the state, home of the first Southern primary, in the months leading up to next year's balloting.
"For the past 16 months, we've heard from tens of thousands of South Carolinians who have spoken up and are demanding that our leaders hold Donald Trump accountable for his crimes, corruption, and cover-ups," Steyer said. "Impeachment is a leadership test for presidential candidates, and South Carolinians have a unique opportunity to shape the national political conversation and push candidates to take a stand."
Steyer previously visited South Carolina several times as he considered joining the Democratic primary field before turning his full attention to impeachment efforts. His organization, Need to Impeach, is running an ad in South Carolina urging congressional Republicans to consider impeachment, showing an image of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham as a narrator describes members of Congress who have "let politics scare them out of holding Trump accountable."
But Steyer's trip to South Carolina is in part intended to drum up Democratic support for impeachment. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday told The Washington Post that Trump is "just not worth it" even as some within the party call to open proceedings. Steyer fired back at that critique, asking, "Is doing what's right 'worth it?'"
Steyer's organization said he's intentionally visiting South Carolina's 6th Congressional District — represented by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, dean of the state's Democrats — to show him and other party leaders that many of their constituents support impeachment.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP