A new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service finds that Trump, who is currently under fire for using his private sewer pump to deliver sewage into his private golf club, should not be impeachable.
In fact, the report finds that it would be “unlikely” to bring Trump to trial for obstruction of justice.
Trump has been the subject of intense criticism for using public sewers in his properties to deliver the water he needs to run his businesses, including for golf clubs, and his campaign has also been dogged by allegations that the president broke the law by not using the facilities to keep up with the president’s daily schedule.
The report, published Wednesday, concludes that while the president could be found in violation of federal law, it would “be difficult to find a plausible legal justification for impeachment.”
As the report notes, Congress would need to decide whether to impeach Trump for obstruction, “because there is little doubt that the actions of the President and others in the Administration could violate federal criminal statutes.”
The report concludes that the government’s “legal justification” for not using public sewage to deliver drinking water into Trump’s clubs is “unsupported by any of the relevant legal authorities.”
“This is a reasonable conclusion based on the law,” said the report’s author, Richard Painter, the former chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush.
“There’s nothing in the Constitution that would prevent the President from using the private facilities to supply his properties with drinking water, whether it’s from the Federal Ground Water Conservation Authority or other federal sources.”
In recent weeks, Trump has come under fire by Democratic lawmakers for using private facilities such as his private Mar-a-Lago estate, which is owned by his daughter Ivanka Trump, to get water to his properties.
The Trump administration has also come under criticism for not being able to adequately address the ongoing crisis in Flint, Michigan, which has resulted in more than 3,300 deaths.