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 Trump 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. 

{mosads}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 Smith (D), who filled former Sen. Al Franken’s (D) seat after his resignation in January following sexual misconduct allegations.

Tags abuse of power Al Franken Donald Trump Emoluments Clause Impeachment muslim travel ban Obstruction of justice President Nixon President Trump Richard Painter The Trump Organization Tina Smith

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