A high standard



Titus supports probe

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus has become the 108th member of the U.S. House to support an impeachment inquiry. A statement posted on her website reads:

“My decision isn’t based on my disagreements with the President’s policies or my disapproval of his temperament, though I have both. I’m calling for an impeachment inquiry because of the mounting evidence that Donald Trump has repeatedly broken the law to protect his own interests. To be clear, misleading the public and the press is not an impeachable offense. But lying to law enforcement officials who are investigating the Russian attack on our democracy—and ordering his staff to do the same—are serious crimes. … And on its own, greed is not an impeachable offense. But after his election, Donald Trump refused to divest from his businesses despite obvious conflicts of interests. So now he’s profiting from foreign government officials who are trying to curry favor by staying at his hotels—even though the emoluments clause of the Constitution prevents the President from accepting foreign payments. In the Constitution, those payments are called ’emoluments,’ but today you can just call them ‘bribes.’ Either way, it’s unethical and illegal. The subcommittee I lead is going to recharge its investigation into those foreign payments when Congress returns to Washington in September. Rest assured I am going to demand answers.”

There has been considerable debate over whether what the House Judiciary Committee launched following Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony constitutes an impeachment investigation, and House leaders have been unwilling to clarify things. Titus used the term inquiry.

The administration tried to dismiss the Mueller testimony as falling flat. However, since congressmembers returned to their districts, they seem to have found it resonated with the public, resulting in momentum in the House for impeachment.

As recently as July 17, the House voted 332 to 95 to block an impeachment effort by Texas Rep. Al Green. Titus then voted against the successful move to table Green’s resolution.

Titus chairs the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management that has charge of the investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged breach of the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, also known as the foreign emoluments clause (article I, section 9, paragraph 8) that generally prohibits federal officeholders from receiving anything of value from a foreign state or its officials. There is also a domestic emoluments clause in the Constitution. On April 30, a federal court rejected Trump’s attempt to block a lawsuit filed by 200 members of the House and Senate charging that Trump has violated the foreign emoluments clause. The emoluments issue has had a lower profile than other Trump scandals.