Bush ethics lawyer: I wish Trump could go one week without obstructing justice – The Hill (blog)

Former ethics chief to President George W. Bush said Tuesday that he would like the Trump administration to not obstruct justice for just one week.

Richard Painter said Tuesday that President Trump “weighing in” on the first statement about Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHow Polish populism explains Trump and the rebirth of nationalismLewandowski: Priebus ‘ultimately responsible’ for White House leaksEx-Cruz aide: Now Bannon is establishment voice in Trump White HouseMORE Jr.’s meeting with a Russia lawyer points to obstruction of justice.

“I would like to have one week from this White House where they don’t engage in a new act of obstruction of justice,” Painter said on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes.

Painter said Trump Jr.’s use of a false statement drafted by his father will likely lead to a compromising ethical situation if a criminal investigation is taking place into the Russian meeting.

“Once the son says something in a public statement he’d be very likely to say something to the special prosecutor, and lying to the special prosecutor is a crime. If he lies under oath it becomes perjury,” Painter said. “This is a common strategy for obstructing justice.”

Painter also went after Trump in a series of tweets earlier Tuesday.

“Knowingly drafting a false statement for a person who is a witness in a criminal investigation is itself a crime. Obstruction of justice,” Painter tweeted.

“What kind of a man drafts a false statement for his own son about a matter under criminal investigation? A man who can pardon his son,” he continued over a series of tweets.

Painter also took aim at Trump Jr.’s lawyers, saying, “Lawyers who knowingly participate in drafting false statements for witnesses in criminal investigations should be disbarred and prosecuted.”

The statement referenced by Painter is the first of several contradicting statements made by Trump Jr. in light of reports that he met with a Moscow lawyer ahead of the 2016 election to gain compromising information of then-Democratic rival Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonLawsuit claims Trump involvement in retracted Fox story on Seth RichNorth Korea targeted emails of Clinton advisers: reportGOP rep on Trump dictating Russia meeting statement: Best to have ‘maximum amount of transparency’MORE.

More revelations about the meeting have unfolded in following reports, which led Trump Jr. to change his statements on who attended the meeting and the purpose of the meeting. It was reported earlier Tuesday that Trump helped draft the first, inaccurate statement by Trump Jr.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Tuesday a report by The Washington Post that Trump helped to write the first draft of the statement, contradicting an earlier comment from Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow who denied the report.

“He certainly didn’t dictate. But he weighed in, offered suggestions like any father would do,” Huckabee Sanders said.

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