Richard Painter, the former chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, warned on Monday that Donald Trump “will be impeached” if he continues refusing to conform to the U.S. Constitution.
In a Monday interview on Australia’s ABC News, Painter said that he hoped that Trump would “figure this out” when it came to understanding the Constitution’s ban on receiving profits from foreign governments and the protections it gives to the rights of Americans.
“He did what he needed to do to be a successful businessman, he figured that out and he now has to figure out how to be a successful president,” Painter explained. “But he is going to need to sell his business interests, he’s going to need to stop giving inflammatory speeches and not try to politicize our intelligence services.”
The former Bush adviser said the FBI and Director James Comey engaged in “illegal political activity before the election [and] we don’t want any more of that.”
“We want a president to be an effective president within the bounds set forth by the Constitution,” Painter continued. “A president who cannot do that will be impeached. But I don’t think Donald Trump is going to choose that route.”
Painter specifically cautioned Trump not to run afoul of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which bans presidents from receiving things of value from foreign governments.
“That also means the provisions of the constitution that protect Americans from discrimination based on their religious faith,” he continued. “We are not going to be keeping a registry of Muslims, we are not going to be deporting Muslims, we’re not going to be barring people from coming into our country because of their religion.”
“He is going to need to comply with the Constitution in order to be a good president, in order to remain as president. We will remove a president who cannot comply with the Constitution.”
Watch the video below from ABC 730.
— abc730 (@abc730) January 23, 2017