U.S. cities take it to Trump: Cambridge latest town to pass resolution calling on Congress to impeach

Massachusetts town joins three others in California concerned about potential violations of the emoluments clause

By Matthew Rozsa
April 4, 2017 12:57PM (UTC)
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(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump's potential violations of the emoluments clause — which, if true, could constitute impeachable offenses — have inspired yet another city to consider a resolution urging Congress to act.

City councilors in Cambridge, MA passed a resolution on Monday to urge Congress to investigate Trump's possible infringements of the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, as well as whether those potential infringements constitute grounds for impeachment. The city council voted 7-1-1 in favor of the resolution.


The emoluments clause bars any president from accepting payments from foreign governments while in office. There are mounting concerns that Trump may be violating the emoluments clause because he has yet to divest himself from his global business empire. On Monday, ProPublica reported on changes to the structure of Trump’s trust, which explicitly allow the president to draw money from his businesses whenever he wants.

The resolution in Cambridge reads, "From the moment he took office, President Trump was in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause and the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution. These violations undermine the integrity of the Presidency, corruptly advance the personal wealth of the President, and violate the public trust."

Cambridge joins a trio of California cities in the Bay Area -- Alameda, Berkeley, and Richmond -- that have passed similar resolutions asking the U.S. House of Representatives to direct its judiciary committee to investigate potential avenues of impeachment. Berkeley councilmember Sophie Hahn told a local news station that "we were one of the first cities to standup against apartheid—that’s a movement that took off and spread and that’s very important."


Earlier this month,  the small Vermont town of Charlotte passed an advisory resolution calling on Congress to investigate possible grounds for impeachment, citing Trump's apparent violation of the emoluments clause.

A recent Public Policy Polling survey found that 44 percent of Americans would support impeaching Trump while 45 percent would oppose doing so. Eleven percent of the respondents said they were not sure.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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