Richard Painter

Richard W. Painter (born October 3, 1961) is an American lawyer and the S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He was the chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration from 2005–2007. Since January 2017, he has been suing Donald Trump over his refusal to sell assets and put others in a blind trust, alleging that Trump is in violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause.

Early life and education

Painter was born in Philadelphia in 1961, and raised outside Philadelphia, Kansas City, Kansas, and in Champaign, Illinois. He graduated from St. George's School, Newport, Rhode Island.

He has a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard University and a JD from Yale University.

Career

From 2002 to 2005, he was the Guy Raymond and Mildred Van Voorhis Jones Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, and from 2005 to 2007 the chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration. As of May 2017, he is the S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Painter is the vice-chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

Lawsuit against Donald Trump

In January 2017, Painter filed suit against U.S. President Donald Trump for failing to sell off certain assets and place others in a blind trust, as all presidents have done for over 40 years. According to Painter, "If Obama had tried that, we would have impeached him in two weeks." Painter alleges that certain foreign payments that Trump receives are in violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause. Trump's son Eric has called this suit "purely harassment for political gain."

Personal life

Painter's wife Karen is a professor of music history at the University of Minnesota. They have three children, and have lived in Minnesota since 2007.

Painter is a long-time Republican.

Selected publications

  • Professional and Personal Responsibilities of the Lawyer (with Judge John T. Noonan Jr.; Foundation 1997; Second Edition, 2001; Third Edition 2011)
  • Securities Litigation and Enforcement (with Margaret Sachs and Donna Nagy; West 2003; Second Edition, 2007; Third Edition 2011).

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