St. Paul City Council Votes Down Trump Investigation

Photo of Trump by Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A proposed resolution calling for Congress to investigate President Donald Trump died a quick death in front of the full St. Paul City Council on Wednesday.

Councilmember Dai Thao, who introduced the resolution, was the sole aye vote in a 6-1 rejection of the measure, reports the Pioneer Press. Thao is a candidate for mayor of St. Paul, running for the seat which will be vacated by incumbent Mayor Chris Coleman’s bid for governor.

“Symbolic resolutions, strictly for political purposes, when overused, become meaningless,” said Councilmember Chris Tolbert, according to the Pioneer Press.

If passed the resolution would have seen the council ask Minnesota’s congressional delegation to investigate the president’s ties to Russia and any personal financial benefits he receives from foreign countries.

Specifically the resolution called for the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether or not Trump is violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. This clause bans any office holder from personally accepting anything of value from foreign powers, without the consent of Congress. Thao contends that as Trump has retained financial interests in a variety of his business ventures, any use of hotels or other Trump businesses by foreign governments violates the Emoluments Clause.

Tolbert said the city faced numerous problems that the council should be focused on rather than passing resolutions without affect. St. Paul’s U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum is in the minority in Washington as a Democrat, and does not even sit on the House Judiciary Committee.

“This type of request is something we could do with a letter, or a direct call to our very hard-working delegation,” said Councilmember Amy Brendmoen. “I don’t feel that official city council action is appropriate.”

Thao defended his proposal by noting that federal policies affect local ones. He also claimed the president’s rhetoric and actions were an affront to the rights of women and members of the LGBT community.

“This resolution would be a better tweet than a resolution,” Tolbert said according to the Star Tribune.

Anders Koskinen