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Major Democratic donor has a new requirement for politicians who want his money

Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, 60, addresses the March to Break Free from Fossil Fuels in May 2016 in Los Angeles. Steyer has reportedly issued a major demand to the Democratic Party, and it's all about getting President Donald Trump out of the White House. (2016 file photo/David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)

One of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors has issued a major demand to the party, and it's all about getting President Donald Trump out of the White House, according to the New York Times.

Who is the donor?

Tom Steyer, 60, a billionaire California investor, spent more than $91 million in support of Democratic candidates last year. The Times reported Steyer was the “single biggest liberal donor in the last two federal elections.” He is known for his activism on climate change and for pushing Democrats to support efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

The report added that Steyer is considering a run for the Senate, possibly a primary challenge to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

What is the demand?

In a letter to Democratic congressional offices and the party’s House and Senate campaign committees obtained by the New York Times, Steyer demanded that Democratic candidates in 2018 support impeaching President Trump. The report noted that the demand puts pressure on the party to make Trump’s impeachment a central issue of the midterm elections next year.

In the letter, Steyer called Trump a “clear and present danger to the republic.” He argued that Trump’s “relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia,” allegations that Trump is seeking to “promote his own business interests” as president, and his “seeming determination to go to war” as grounds for impeachment.

He called on Democrats to pledge that they would seek to remove the president from office if they gain a majority in Congress next year.

“This is not just an issue of Twitter screeds but what it means for a person who has control over our nuclear arsenal,” Steyer wrote. “I hope you will make your position clear so that Democratic voters who are under constant attack by this administration, know their elected representatives have the patriotism and political courage to stand up and take action.”

Steyer pointed to Republican criticism of Trump — citing retiring Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker’s remark that Trump is risking a world war as well as reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron” — and argued that Democrats “should be no less confrontational.”

How likely is impeachment?

The Times called the Democrats’ prospects of winning both the House and Senate next year “unlikely.” They noted that even if the Democrats were to pull off such a feat, it is “unclear” if the party’s congressional leaders would seek to remove Trump from office.

Under the Constitution, if the House votes to impeach the president, the Senate may remove the president from office with a two-thirds majority vote. A president can be impeached for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” according to the Constitution.

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