Richard Painter, a prominent lawyer who has testified before Congress and who served as an ethics attorney in the White House during the leadership of Republican President George W. Bush, is calling for former President Donald Trump to drop out of the 2024 race for president.
Painter communicated as much after the recent indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on various allegations of corruption. Menendez, despite facing opposition from many elected Democrats in his home state, won’t resign. It’s the second criminal case he has faced that alleges serious corruption. “This crook should resign or be expelled from the Senate,” Painter said on X, formerly Twitter. “He can run again after he’s been acquitted of all charges. Same for Donald Trump (4 indictments, 91 counts) who needs to get out of the 2024 race, or the @GOP will lose badly and deserve to lose.”
Painter also suggested that for Democrats to accept Menendez and therefore establish essentially a precedent of standing together despite serious accusations of criminal behavior could help Trump out as the latter makes his own attempted case to voters of why he should supposedly be sent back to office despite facing four criminal cases on allegations like interfering with an election.
In that case, the question is still open of whether he’ll become subjected to limited restrictions on his public remarks made in relation to the case. If implemented by the judge after the currently open arguments period, it would follow concerns about Trump’s personalized, antagonistic rhetoric sparking literal violence against his opponents in these criminal proceedings.
Also among the concerns are possible intimidation of case witnesses and others alongside the potential prejudicing of the jury pool. There are strict standards for statements made in court, and no matter Trump’s dubious insistence he’d take the witness stand (in a different case that deals with the handling of government documents), it’s not a given that the unsupported assertions that Trump routinely makes would stand in a courtroom. Meanwhile, Trump also continues facing multiple court cases that challenge his eligibility on Constitutional grounds over his ties to January 6.
Most Democrats in Washington aren’t stupid.
They aren’t going to throw the 2024 presidential race to a @GOP candidate who’s been indicted four times (91 counts) for the sake of a twice indicted senator who acts as if he’s on the cast of the Sopranos.
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) September 25, 2023