Ex-White House ethics counsel: More evidence against Trump than there ever was against Nixon

Former White House chief ethics counsel Richard Painter said there is more evidence to charge President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE with a crime than there ever was against President Nixon, who resigned amid the threat of impeachment.

Painter told CBS News on Monday that there is plenty of evidence of abuse of power and obstruction of justice against Trump.

He called on Trump and Vice President Pence to be removed from office.

"We're well beyond that point and yet the House and the Senate won't do anything at all," Painter said. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Painter said there is also “very strong evidence” to suggest that Trump’s family business dealings have violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bans presidents from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments.

Trump is already facing one emoluments lawsuit in connection with his Washington, D.C., hotel.

Trump’s attempted travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries also potentially violated the First Amendment, Painter said.

"Going after President Trump's abuse of power and violations of the Constitution needs to be the number one priority,” Painter said.

Trump’s behavior is “unprecedented,” he added.

"I think this president is a great risk to our democracy and he has shown that since he was elected," Painter said.

Painter served in the George W. Bush administration from 2005 to 2007.

He is currently running as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota against Sen. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithDemocrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump On The Money: Fed faces crossroads as it weighs third rate cut | Dem presses Mnuchin on 'alleged rampant corruption' | Boeing chief faces anger at hearing | Trouble for House deal on Ex-Im Bank Democrats renew push for contractor back pay from government shutdown MORE (D), who filled former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Take Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact MORE's (D) seat after his resignation in January following sexual misconduct allegations.