There is "far more evidence of abuse of power and obstruction of justice" against President Donald Trump than there ever was against President Richard Nixon, former White House chief ethics counsel Richard Painter said on CBS News’ "Red & Blue."
Painter, who served in the Bush administration from 2005 to 2007, is now running for U.S. Senate in Minnesota as a Democrat.
He stressed that there appears to be "very strong evidence" that Trump violated the Emoluments Clause through his company's business dealings with foreign governments and has potentially violated the First Amendment by his intimidation of the media and discrimination against religious minorities.
For these reasons, Painter said that "Going after President Trump's abuse of power and violations of the constitution needs to be the number one priority."
Although he conceded that there are Democrats who have taken some actions, he said he does not think that those in the party "have been as assertive as they could be about the continued abuses of power and constitutional violations of Donald Trump."
He added that Trump's behavior has been "unprecedented even in the most conservative circles of the Republican Party," emphasizing that the president’s rhetoric often "borders on fascist" and is a major reason why he is no longer a Republican.
When asked if it is the correct strategy in the midterms to go so strongly against Trump, Painter said, "I’m not a political strategist. I’m just going to say what I think is right. I think this president is a great risk to our democracy and he has shown that since he was elected."
Painter conceded that some of the country’s problems precede the Trump administration but said "There is an additional challenger with Trump as president because he does not want to play by the rules."
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