West

Brookline may call for Trump impeachment probe

President Donald J. Trump.

SHAWN THEW/EPA

President Donald J. Trump.

Should President Trump be investigated over whether he has violated the Constitution? Two Brookline residents will ask Town Meeting next month to support a Congressional probe into Trump’s business and financial dealings.

If approved, the nonbinding resolution would call on the the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether there is sufficient evidence to impeach the nation’s 45th president.

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Lisa Kolarik, one of the petitioners, told the Globe she decided to take action against Trump because Trump’s business activities could interfere with his decisions as president.

“Why should someone run roughshod over the Constitution, while everyone else looks the other way?” said Kolarik.

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Similar measures have already been approved in Cambridge, along with Charlotte, Vt., and three cities in California.

The Constitution’s emoluments clause states that no one holding federal office “shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”

The language of the proposed Brookline resolution alleges “from the moment he took office, President Trump was in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause and the Domestic Emoluments Clause” of the Constitution.

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Kolarik and Alexandra Borns-Weil wrote that the proposed resolution can help build public support for impeachment and help show lawmakers the will of their constituents.

“There is plenty of evidence now to impeach President Trump for violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution,” the pair wrote in an explanation for the warrant article. “It is our duty as citizens to make sure that the Constitution is enforced.”

In an interview, Kolarik said she hasn’t been politically active in the past. But she backed Hillary Clinton during the 2016 race, and decided to take action against Trump after his election.

“If we don’t stand up for this stuff, its just going to be eroded,” she said.

Even before Trump took office, legal experts debated whether the worldwide reach of his companies would present possible conflicts of interests for himself as president.

Trump opponents filed suit shortly after he took office, claiming that Trump violated the Constitution by allowing his business to accept payments from foreign governments.

The Brookline measure is part of a special Town Meeting warrant that coincides with the already scheduled spring Town Meeting that starts May 23.

Brookline residents can petition selectmen to call a special Town Meeting if they gather at least 200 signatures. Kolarik and Borns-Weil collected 492, said Patrick J. Ward, the Brookline town clerk.

Selectmen executed the warrant for the special Town Meeting on Tuesday.

John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.
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