Former W. Bush Lawyer Gives The Finger To GOP, Running As Democrat For Minnesota Senate

Robert Donachie | Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

A longtime lawyer for former President George W. Bush plans to run for U.S. Senate in Minnesota as a Democrat, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Richard Painter, 56, is listed a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in the state of Minnesota on the FEC website and has raised nearly $15,000 as of March 31. Painter posted on Twitter Thursday to announce a press conference where he plans to make an important announcement about the Minnesota Senate race.

Painter was the top ethics lawyer for the Bush White House from 2005 to 2007. He is currently a law professor at the University of Minnesota and the vice chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Painter is on a leave of absence from CREW, which he announced in early March, coinciding with the launching of his exploratory committee for a potential Senate bid.

CREW was the group behind the lawsuit against Trump in which lawyers argued that the president violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause when he did not sell or put his assets behind a blind trust. The case was dismissed in December, but the group notified the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in February of its plans to appeal.

The former Bush lawyer has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration both on television and on social media, often using Twitter to point out instances in which he feels the president has failed in policy, leadership or has displayed poor judgment.

Painter has let it be known that if he makes a run for Senate, he will not accept money from super PACs.

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