Richard Painter Quotes

  1. Russia may very well be front and center again in 2020 as they were in 2016 regarding interference in America’s presidential election. But the Trump administration is seeking to use its power of diplomacy to bring other countries into the act as well.
  2. I think most Minnesotans are in a grey zone politically.
  3. If President Trump will not remove White House officials who are clearly violating the law, he’s not doing his job and this would be yet another grounds for Congress considering impeaching and removing the president.
  4. I tried to salvage the situation with the Republican Party for a long time. We’ve had for decades a departure from the fundamental values of the Republican Party and from America.
  5. And imagine where we’d be today if President Franklin Roosevelt had owned apartment buildings in Frankfurt and Berlin. You know, some of us might be speaking German.
  6. I’ve been concerned about ethics in government for a long time. And the problems we’ve had under President Trump are only indicative of the longer-term problem of the erosion of public office and government.
  7. The American experiment with representative democracy has been a great success, but we need to realize that it needs to be a genuine representative democracy where ordinary people have a vote, have a voice in choosing the candidates who represent them.
  8. When people are making up stories about Bob Mueller on Fox News and those get traction in congressional committees and in the White House, at a certain point, I’ve got to say no.
  9. I’ve been a pain in the rear for the Republican Party, and if I were to continue to be involved in the Democratic Party, I will continue to be a pain in the rear on campaign finance, health care, the environment. I’m not interested in party loyalty issues.
  10. Ethics knows no party. Those rules should be applied the same in a Republican administration and a Democratic administration.
  11. If I do a campaign, I’m going to do it my way.
  12. I grew up in Illinois. If you were in Chicago, you were a Democrat. You get out to the suburbs and central Illinois, you’re a Republican.
  13. I’m out of the Republican Party. I’m fed up.
  14. Watergate was a third-rate burglary. It was purely domestic in nature.
  15. Do not overlook that Donald Trump is an inherently unstable person. He’s never been able to have stable businesses or stable marriages. It is then wholly predictable that Donald Trump would be unable to have a stable presidency.
  16. I’ve taken firm positions on issues the voters care about, and I will get my positions implemented.
  17. This is how the Russians have operated for years – they get the goods on people and then they can get you to do what they want. This is how someone like Donald Trump could be turned into a Russian asset.
  18. Well, the problem is that when you mix discussion of official United States government business with discussion of your personal business, you can tread dangerously close to the bribery statutes.
  19. Here is where you get into the danger zone, when the government official starts talking about U.S. government business and then also talking about what personal business favors they might want. And when the conversation goes down that road, it does risk crossing the line into solicitation of a bribe.
  20. Republicans insist that if you’re going to run for political office, you have to be loyal to President Trump. This is wrong. This is not the America I want to live in. This is not the America I want my children to live in.
  21. I’m pro-business! But business ought to make its own money.
  22. We are not going to be keeping a registry of Muslims in America, we are not going to be deporting Muslims, we are not going to be barring people from coming into our country because of their religion.
  23. Well, the elected officials in both parties are receiving campaign contributions and support through electioneering communications from groups that aren’t technically affiliated with the campaigns, but really are. That’s the off-the-books financing of electioneering communications that’s going on.
  24. The course I teach, Professional Responsibility, was brought into law-school curriculums and required by most states for admission to the bar beginning in the 1970s.
  25. We shouldn’t have a president invested in either Russia or Turkey.
  26. We have two political parties in this country; we cannot have one of them be abandoned to complete nutcases. We’ve got to have two good political parties.
  27. Nixon was a crook, but he was our crook. He didn’t have the KGB do the Watergate job.
  28. I don’t believe President Nixon ordered a break-in, but people working for him were doing it. And then that dragged the president in. And then you have the cover-up. And before you know it, the president’s gone.
  29. It is rational Republicans who want to pull the plug on the Trump presidency.
  30. I think we’ll go through a period when there’s a revival of concern about ethics. After Watergate, we got the Ethics in Government Act, which has a lot of additional regulations.
  31. People knew Trump had strange relationships with the Russians even before he was elected. Consequently, there is every reason to investigate whether Donald Trump is a Russian asset.
  32. Donald Trump wants to ignore the rule of law. He ignores the Constitution. He ignores the subpoenas. The Republicans in the House and Senate are afraid to stand up to him, with only a few exceptions.
  33. Having a representative democracy requires the confidence of the voters in the system. And if voters lose confidence in the system they can make some very bad decisions.
  34. The president has the power to sign or veto a bill. If he signs it, it becomes law. If he vetoes it, it does not become law. That’s pretty much an absolute power, but if he signs a bill or vetoes a bill in return for a $100,000 payment, he’s guilty of bribery and he can go to jail.
  35. I am not going to apologize for my service to the country.
  36. Criminal conspiracy requires not only that the conspirators know that a crime is going to be committed, but that they knowingly intend to help each other commit the crime – and then commit certain overt acts in connection with that conspiracy.
  37. I think the Republican Party has moved substantially to the right, particularly on social issues… And the Democratic Party has moved to the left over the past decades. So we’ve got a lot more room in the middle.
  38. I think President Trump could pardon anyone he wanted and have it be an effective pardon. I think there would be a big price to pay if he started pardoning people in connection with the Russian investigation.
  39. I have to say that every white-collar criminal defense lawyer knows when the chief financial officer turns state’s evidence, everyone in the executive suite is in a lot of trouble because the chief financial officer knows exactly where the money is coming and going.
  40. Once the religious right got their beachhead in the Republican Party in 1980, they expanded it. Even Barry Goldwater was extremely hostile to the religious right, but Reagan catered to them. The religious right then expanded their base and that drove the moderates out.
  41. I grew up in Illinois, went out east to school, and went back to Illinois to teach… Illinois is a great state for ethics.
  42. I have tended to speak out on the issues that are in the purview of my professional expertise – business ethics, corporate ethics, and government ethics.
  43. I go on all the channels, mostly CNN and MSNBC. I have gone on Fox every couple of months.
  44. The real problem with the Republican Party is that for decades it has shifted constantly to the right politically. Consequently, the Republican Party is picking up a very different demographic than it used to, a less well-educated demographic of people who are more prone to authoritarianism.
  45. The second part of the Mueller report lays out a very clear case against Donald Trump for obstruction of justice. The facts are very strong.
  46. I think there is an overwhelming support for campaign finance reform, and that includes conservatives and Republicans. Where the problem is is with the leadership; with the politicians who are benefiting from the big campaign contributions, and the dark money in the electioneering communications and so forth.
  47. If ethics is limited to financial conflicts of interest – that’s really what I did in the Bush White House – that’s a huge problem for me because Trump refused to sell his businesses. We don’t know where he’s getting his financing.
  48. By having the President’s name on buildings, that is a potential terrorist target.

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