ANKENY, Iowa — While discussing his ongoing efforts to see impeachment proceedings begin, billionaire political activist Tom Steyer told a crowd that his recent trip to the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz taught him a lesson about the meaning and purpose of political battles.
"What I took from that trip was, if you see something really wrong, if you see someone who is doing something consistently wrong, that is wicked, that is against the values of society, you have to fight it the first day, the second day, the third day," he said.
The remarks came at an evening rally just hours after a midday announcement he would forgo entering the 2020 presidential contest as a candidate, and instead would be "dedicating 100 percent of my time, effort, and resources to one cause: working for Mr. Trump's impeachment and removal from office."
Steyer also said at the earlier event that he would be dedicating $40 million to the impeachment effort.
"There's no way we can just let this go and take it as—enable it, make it acceptable, let it go on. It will only get worse, and that's what I've been saying about impeachment," he added to the end of his remarks about his recent visit to the most deadly Nazi extermination camp of the Holocaust.
For just over a year, Steyer has been promoting an impeachment effort with a political action committee that has built an email list of over 7 million people, and has aired a slate of television ads that have sometimes tried to pressure Democrats to take action on the issue.
Shortly after election results showed Democrats would retake the majority in the House, Steyer launched a new "Need to Impeach" ad that ran in the districts of many of the newly elected representatives.
The renewed vigor for the impeachment fight from the billionaire activist comes just days after Democrats strained to manage the media fallout from freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) being caught on tape saying her party would "impeach the mother****er."
Numerous indicators have shown that over the last year, many Democrats consider the impeachment issue more politically difficult than Steyer has made it sound.
In the spring of 2018, then-House minority leader Nancy Pelosi fretted that talk about impeachment was a "gift to Republicans," a comment that was seen as aimed at Steyer because of the prevalence of the television advertising and was casting an eye towards the November elections.
Staffers with Steyer's various political efforts told the Washington Free Beacon on more than one occasion that impeachment was not a litmus test for the Democrat House candidates Steyer was supporting in the November election.
The evening event in Ankeny, a northern suburb of the capital city of Des Moines, was the third installment of Steyer's promotion of his "5 Rights" platform, which many saw as the foundation for a presidential run before the California activist withdrew.