President Donald Trump has "no respect for the law," a former White House ethics lawyer said after bashing administration members including embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.
"This president doesn't want to take action when people violate the law," Richard Painter, a chief ethics lawyer under former President George W. Bush, said on MSNBC Wednesday. "He didn't fire Kellyanne Conway when she violated the Hatch Act and he himself is in violation of the Constitution when he's getting all that $500 or $600 a night from the foreign governments over at his hotel."
Painter concluded: "This administration has no respect for the law and now they're talking about putting Pruitt … in the Justice Department and get him involved with trying to fire Robert Mueller."
"If they do that, they're all going to go to jail, that's what's going to happen," said Painter, referencing special counsel Robert S. Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties with Russia.
Earlier in the segment, Painter slammed Pruitt for ethics controversies he's enveloped in, particularly reports that he was paying a lobbyist only $50 a night to stay in a condo on Capitol Hill that she co-owned. "Scott Pruitt's toward the bottom of a barrel that has an awful lot of rotten apples in it. Let's look at what's going on here," said Painter, who is on leave of absence as the vice chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "There's an energy lobbyist and he's been spending a lot of his time at the EPA deregulating so the energy companies can get away with a lot of stuff and other polluters."
"It's not the Environmental Protection Agency anymore," he said. "It's the Environmental Pollution Agency."
Painter recently accused Conway, the counselor to the president, of violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits executive branch employees from using their official authority to influence elections. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel last month announced Conway was indeed in violation of the federal law.