Tom Steyer announces that he is not running for president in 2020

By Grace Segers

/ CBS News

Billionaire Tom Steyer announced that he would not launch a presidential bid Wednesday at a press conference in Des Moines, Iowa, declining to join the wide field of Democratic candidates who have announced or are likely to announce their candidacy for the 2020 presidential contest.

Steyer is a billionaire and longtime Democratic donor who is known for his campaign to impeach President Trump called "Need To Impeach," to which he has dedicated millions of his own money. Steyer has also starred in nationwide ads urging the public to press their members of Congress to launch impeachment proceedings. Nearly 7 million people have joined the Need To Impeach campaign, according to organizers, and provided their names and contact information.

Steyer announced in Iowa he will now focus all of his time on attempting to remove Mr. Trump from power, committing $40 million to this effort.

"This is the biggest issue in American politics today," Steyer said. "We have a lawless president in the White House who is eroding our democracy and it is only going to get worse."

The next steps in Steyer's campaign to impeach Mr. Trump will include a new national ad, holding nationwide town halls, and hosting an "impeachment summit" in Washington, D.C., in late January.

Steyer's activity with Need to Impeach had indicated that he was strongly considering a presidential bid. He recently revamped his website to outline the "5 Rights," which he believes are necessary to "make sure we all have a fair chance at success in America." They are the right to an equal vote, the right to clean air and clean water, the right to learn, the right to a living wage, and the right to health. Steyer has also said he would support any Democratic candidate that is committed to those 5 rights.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren became the first major candidate to announce an exploratory committee on Dec. 31. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro has also announced an exploratory committee. Meanwhile, former West Virginia congressional candidate Richard Ojeda says he will run for president in 2020, and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney announced his candidacy in July 2017.

First published on January 9, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Grace Segers

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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