WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City Council approved a resolution at its June 19 meeting that calls on the U.S. House of Representatives to initiate proceedings for the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.
“Impeachment should be reserved as a last resort,” Mayor John Heilman said. “In less than six months in office, President Trump has already violated federal law by attempting to obstruct justice and his administration is plagued by numerous conflicts of interest. We need to hold him accountable.”
“Ultimately, this is an ethics issue and a legal issue,” Councilwoman Lauren Meister said. “The Emoluments Clause [of the Constitution] clearly states that the president shall not receive any gifts or benefits other than his compensation. No other president in this country’s history has so blatantly disregarded protocol and the Constitution.”
The resolution comes as a response to numerous violations of the Emoluments Clause, multiple violations of federal law as it relates to the employment of relatives, serious national security concerns resulting from potential interference with federal elections in 2016, and amid investigations of obstruction of justice with the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
The city joined a growing number of cities, including the California cities of Los Angeles, Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda and Richmond; as well as the Massachusetts cities of Brookline, Cambridge, Amherst, Pelham, and Leverett; in calling for the initiation of impeachment proceedings.
Although local municipalities have no authority over any action that the Congress may take, local resolutions are a call for Congress to take the first steps toward impeachment proceedings. The District of Columbia and the state of Maryland have filed lawsuits against the president for violating anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution.
The city has sent copies of the resolution to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, California’s U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris; House Speaker Paul Ryan and U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff; Gov. Jerry Brown; state Sen. Ben Allen; and Assemblyman Richard Bloom; as well as to additional public officials and organizations.
Last December, the city reaffirmed its commitment to its core values and is working diligently to defend the fundamental rights of its community members. The city is monitoring federal proposals and is responding to policy changes that may have a harmful effect on West Hollywood’s residents, including LGBT residents, people with disabilities, seniors, people of color, immigrants, women and others.
In February, the City Council approved an item that directed city staff to take steps to prohibit City Hall from doing business with entities that provide financial or other benefits to the president or his revocable trust.