By: Joel B. Pollak
The city council of Richmond, California — a relatively poor, industrial community on the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay — voted unanimously on Tuesday evening in favor of a resolution calling for President Donald Trump to be impeached.
The text of the resolution was not immediately available, but the city council agenda listed “a resolution in support of a Congressional investigation regarding the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.”
The basis for Trump’s impeachment, according to local ABC News affiliate KGO, would be the president’s alleged links to his private business holdings. Critics have claimed that these create conflicts of interest, and possibly violate the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
However, there is no evidence that Trump has benefited from conflicts of interest, or that he has done anything illegal to justify the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard for impeachment. The Emoluments Clause argument is also thought by many constitutional scholars and legal analysts to be very weak.
Donald Trump has been something of an obsession for Richmond politicians. In 2015, the mayor blamed Trump for inciting a hate crime against a local mosque, even though the suspect had praised Hillary Clinton in social media.
Richmond is the sixth-poorest large city in the state, and has the highest public employee salary burden, according to a nonpartisan report issued last year. The report documented exorbitant salaries paid to local officials, such as $560,000 in total salary and benefits to the local fire chief.