Non-profit

Impeachment HQ

Website:

impeachmenthq.org

Formation:

October 2019

Project of:

Stand Up America

Defend the Republic

Director:

Zac Petkanas

Impeachment HQ is a rapid response campaign “war room” sending out press links and spin to media to support the impeachment and removal from office of President Donald Trump. The project is a joint effort by Defend the Republic and Stand Up America, an advocacy group founded and led by Sean Eldridge, a former unsuccessful Democratic congressional candidate and spouse of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

Background

Impeachment HQ was established in October 2019 to promote the impeachment and ultimate removal from office of President Donald Trump. The project was established by the left-wing advocacy group Stand Up America, and Defend the Republic, an anti-Trump messaging and strategic communications venture. [1]

Organizers tout Impeachment HQ as a rapid response “war room” focused on impeachment to get information and talking points out to “talkers, reporters, and activists.” [2]

Stand Up America began in May 2019 to promote impeachment of President Trump. [3] The organization planned to spend $100,000 in October 2019 to help flip a dozen House Republicans to supporting an impeachment inquiry against Trump. [4]

Talking points are based on allegations that Trump, as they phrase it, “pushed Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election.” The talking points further state the impeachment process—that Republicans criticized as being closed—is “open and transparent.” The talking points further target President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. [5]

Leadership

Zac Petkanas

Veteran Democratic communications operative Zac Petkanas, the president of Petkanas Strategies which houses Defend the Republic, runs Impeachment HQ. [6]

Before starting his firm, Petkanas was the director of the Trump War Room at the Democratic National Committee in 2017. This came after he worked as the director of rapid response for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign from October 2015 through November 2016. He was also a vice president at Media Matters for America, a leftwing media watchdog group after serving as director of communications for then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010 and 2011. [7]

Petkanas, who had been a Fox News pundit, announced in October 2018 that he would no longer appear on the nation’s largest cable news network, writing, “I believe the only thing to do is walk away and call out the network for what it is: a cancerous propaganda organ doing lasting damage to our country.” [8]

Sean Eldridge

In the announcement of launching the Impeachment HQ project, Sean Eldridge, president and founder of Stand Up America, which provides office space for Impeachment HQ, said, “Through Impeachment HQ, we intend to ramp up pressure on Republicans in Congress to uphold their oath of office and hold Trump accountable for his crimes and corruption.” [9]

Eldridge is an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Congress and liberal activist married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

In September 2019, Eldrige wrote a USA Today op-ed blasting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for not acting on impeaching Trump, asserting, “due to Pelosi’s hand-wringing, the message on impeachment is muddled, the outcome is unclear, and the debate is dragging closer and closer to the first presidential primaries. It looks like Pelosi was hoping that the demands for impeachment would fade quietly into the night — but they aren’t.” [10]

Other Staff

Communications and research professionals from Defend the Republic and Stand Up America also staff the project, including Stand Up America press secretary Ryan Thomas. [11]

References

  1. Press Release. “Stand Up American and Defend the Republican Launch Impeachment HQ.” October 15, 2019. Accessed October 24, 2019. https://www.standupamerica.com/press-releases/pr-impeachment-hq/ ^
  2. Press Release. “Stand Up American and Defend the Republican Launch Impeachment HQ.” October 15, 2019. Accessed October 24, 2019. https://www.standupamerica.com/press-releases/pr-impeachment-hq/ ^
  3. Seitz-Wald, Alex. “New Activist Campaign Puts Impeachment Pressure on House Democrats.” NBC News. May 28, 2019. Accessed October 24, 2019. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/new-activist-campaign-puts-impeachment-pressure-house-democrats-n1010586 ^
  4. Touchberry, Ramsey. “Liberal Activist Group’s New Campaign Bets $100,000 on Republicans Backing Trump Impeachment Probe.” Newsweek. October 24, 2019. Accessed October 24, 2019. https://www.newsweek.com/liberal-activist-groups-new-campaign-bets-100k-republicans-backing-trump-impeachment-probe-1467555 ^
  5. Talking Points. Impeachment HQ. Accessed October 24, 2019. https://impeachmenthq.org/talking-points ^
  6. Press Release. “Stand Up American and Defend the Republican Launch Impeachment HQ.” October 15, 2019. Accessed October 24, 2019. https://www.standupamerica.com/press-releases/pr-impeachment-hq/ ^
  7. Zak Petkanas. LinkedIn. Accessed October 24, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/zac-petkanas-622a885/ ^
  8. Keller, Megan. “Former Clinton Aide Says He Will No Longer Appear on ‘Downright Dangerous’ Fox News.” The Hill. October 30, 2018. Accessed October 24, 2019. https://thehill.com/homenews/media/413889-former-clinton-aide-says-he-will-no-longer-appear-on-downright-dangerous-fox ^
  9. Press Release. “Stand Up American and Defend the Republican Launch Impeachment HQ.” October 15, 2019. Accessed October 24, 2019. https://www.standupamerica.com/press-releases/pr-impeachment-hq/ ^
  10. Eldridge, Sean. “Time for Nancy Pelosi to Stand Up and Lead on Impeachment.” USA Today. September 24, 2019. Accessed October 24, 2019. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/09/24/democrats-dont-want-impeachment-interfere-2020-need-act-now-column/2414226001/ ^
  11. Press Release. “Stand Up American and Defend the Republican Launch Impeachment HQ.” October 15, 2019. Accessed October 24, 2019. https://www.standupamerica.com/press-releases/pr-impeachment-hq/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Sean Eldridge
    Officer/Board Member
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