The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution Friday stating that President Donald Trump should be investigated for any high crime or misdemeanor sufficient to warrant impeachment proceedings.
The resolution calls for the city’s 2017-18 federal legislative program to include support for any legislative action to investigate whether Trump has violated the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution or committed any other high crime or misdemeanor.
Since taking office, Trump has been criticized by ethics experts for not divesting himself of his vast real estate empire, which could be in violation of a provision in the Constitution barring government officials from accepting gifts or benefits from foreign leaders or foreign states.
“If he is not going to come clean and show the American people that his hands are clean of potentially illegal foreign money in investments, then we must demand that Congress use their power to investigate the situation,” said Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who introduced the resolution.
“With this resolution, the city of Los Angeles calls on our Congress members and senators for the good of the country to investigate Trump’s international finances, and make sure that he is actually working on behalf of the American people and not his own pocketbook.”
The resolution passed on a 10-0 vote. Councilman Mitchell Englander, the City Council’s lone Republican, was not present during the vote, although he was in the chamber immediately before and after.
Englander did not comment when asked why he did not vote on the resolution.
Several dozen members from a group called West Valley Resistance were in the audience for the vote and burst out in applause when the resolution passed. Blumenfield credited the group with pushing him to bring the resolution forward.
In January, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, D.C., filed a federal lawsuit against Trump, alleging he is violating the Emoluments Clause.
“Diplomats from foreign governments and their agents are staying in Trump hotels, like the Trump hotel in D.C.,’ Zephyr Teachout, one of the lawyers on the case, told NPR. That’s money from foreign governments going into our president’s pocket while he is making decisions that affect those countries.”
Trump, during a news conference at the White House in January, said the suit was “without merit.” The president has also said he will donate any profits from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury on an annual basis.
— City News Service