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 is the vice-chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
Painter was the chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration from 2005–2007. Since January 2017, he has been involved in the CREW lawsuit against President Donald Trump (CREW v. Trump). The suit alleges that Trump is in violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause, due to his refusal to sell assets and put others in a blind trust.
Painter was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1961. He was raised outside Philadelphia, in Kansas City, Kansas, and in Champaign, Illinois. He graduated from St. George's School, Newport, Rhode Island.
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).
In January 2017, CREW 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. Painter, vice-chairman of CREW, stated, "If Obama had tried that, we would have impeached him in two weeks." CREW alleges that certain foreign payments that Trump receives are in violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause.
Painter's wife Karen is a professor of music history at the University of Minnesota. They were married in 1987. They have three children and have lived in Minnesota since 2007.
I've been a Republican for 30 years.
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