Nearly a dozen U.S. cities have passed resolutions calling for President Donald Trump to be impeached. The largely symbolic gestures hold no legal weight because only Congress has the authority to initiate impeachment proceedings.
By May 25, 10 city councils had issued resolutions calling for impeachment proceedings to be brought against Trump. The towns calling for congressional action to remove the president from office include the Massachusetts municipalities of Amherst, Brookline, Cambridge, Leverett and Pelham, as well as the California municipalities of Alameda, Berkeley, Los Angeles and Richmond, Politico reports.
Alderman Ameya Pawar of Chicago had also drafted a city council ordinance calling for Trump's impeachment. The Windy City council member asserted that Trump had provided grounds for impeachment by his handling of the federal probe into whether members of his campaign had colluded with Russian officials.
"I introduced this resolution because President Trump continues to obstruct the investigation into Russian influence over his administration, in his business dealings, and the alleged collusion during the 2016 election," Pawar said. "It is time for a full and thorough investigation led by the United States Congress."
On May 12, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for Congress to investigate the president for any impeachable offenses. Democratic City Council member Bob Blumenfield asserted that Trump was potentially violating the U.S. Constitution's Emoluments Clause by not divesting from his businesses.
“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," Blumenfield stated before the vote on the resolution, according to the Huffington Post.
Municipal resolutions alone would not force impeachment proceedings against Trump. A majority of the House would first have to vote in approval of investigating the president, sending articles of impeachment to the Senate. After that, two-thirds of all senators would have to convict the president of an impeachable offense to remove him from office.
Blumenfeld asserted that the resolutions were a valuable tool for "pressuring Congress to ensure that Trump only uses his presidency to benefit the American people."
Meanwhile, Republican state Sen. Sam McCann of Illinois chided the Chicago resolution as partisanship, asserting that there was no evidence of an impeachable offense.
"If we find out that [Trump] is guilty of a crime that is worthy of removing him from office, I'll be one of the first to call for it," McCann said. "But in this country we’re innocent until proven guilty ... let’s give it a chance to play out.”
On May 26, the Economist Intelligence Unit, an international organization that provides analysis on probabilities, issued an assessment that impeachment remained unlikely.
"We note that the president's impulsive character and disregard for protocol means that even the unlikely is possible," the EIU told Newsweek. "But it would take a significant shift in mood, even allowing for his existing transgressions, to shift Republican loyalty away from Trump ... Democrats and Republicans are unlikely to cooperate for impeachment."
On May 22, a Harvard-Harris survey found that only 41 percent of registered voters believed that Trump's presidency would end in impeachment while 59 percent doubted such a result, The Hill reports.