Los Angeles, the second largest city in the U.S. with 4 million inhabitants, has its share of problems: A crisis with an exploding homeless population, rising violent crime rate, around-the-clock gridlock, deteriorating and potholed roads, and air pollution so bad that a word — “smog” — was invented for it.
But with all these pressing issues at hand, the L.A. city council found time to dive into foreign policy and demand an investigation into President Donald Trump, hoping to find impeachable offenses to remove him from office.
On Friday, the city council voted 10-0 to pass a resolution asking Congress to investigate whether Trump violated the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause or committed any other high crimes and misdemeanors that could lead to impeachment.
The impetus for this resolution is Trump’s relationship with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte as a new 57-story Trump Tower in Manila is set to open soon. The hotel was conceived and under construction well before Trump ran for president. But what any of this has to do with Los Angeles is unclear.
What’s clear is this: the resolution has zero legal weight, even a representative for city councilman Bob Blumenfield, who authored the resolution, said so. “It’s putting the city of L.A. on record to investigate Trump,” according to Jake Flynn, Blumenfield’s spokesman.
Of the 14 current L.A. city council members (one vacant), 13 are Democrats. Three of them were absent from Friday’s vote. The council’s lone Republican, Mitch Englander, who represents north San Fernando Valley, missed the vote on purpose.
“I walked out because I did not feel that voting to impeach a president was under the purview of the Los Angeles City Council,” Englander told the L.A. Times. “We should be focusing on public safety, fixing our roads and cleaning up our neighborhoods.”