Politico Engages in Smoke and Mirrors Journalism Regarding Ethics Attorneys and Trump Jr.

Politico published a piece about a joint op-ed in the New York Times penned by Norm Eisen and Richard Painter, the former ethics attorneys for President Obama and President George W. Bush respectively. Today’s op-ed addresses the Donald Trump Jr. situation with Russia, but the content isn’t really important. The important thing to note is the media tricks being played here.


Eisen and Painter, as well as outlets like Politico, MSNBC, CNN, and others make a big point of noting the former Presidents for whom the two men worked. The intent is undoubtedly to make whatever opinions they express as a duo appear to be some bipartisan agreement.

The problem is both men are left wing partisans.

In an editorial penned Tuesday night in the New York Times, the two called Trump Jr.’s defense “nonsense” and said they would have called the FBI immediately in such a situation.

“As ethics lawyers, we have worked on political campaigns for decades and have never heard of an offer like this one,” wrote Norm Eisen and Richard Painter. Eisen is the chairman and Painter is the vice chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics. “The promised Russian ‘documents and information’ would have been an illegal campaign contribution from a foreign government — and a priceless one.”

They said this meeting could tangle with conspiracy law, criminal violations and campaign finance laws among other legal liabilities.

Painter, who served for over two years in Bush’s administration, said on Tuesday that people should not collect information from Russia unless they “want to be accused of treason.” He also said such acts would not have been tolerated during the Bush presidency.

“We’d have one of them — if not both of them [Jared Kushner and Trump Jr.] — in custody right now, and we’d be asking them a lot of questions” Painter said. “This borders on treason if it is not itself treason.”

Painter additionally said that “you can accomplish a lot by way of damaging your own country, assisting an adversary and espionage” during the 10 minutes Trump Jr. met with the Kremlin-related lawyer.


Politico portrays Painter as if he speaks for the former Bush administration, but as Legal Insurrection has reported, he is a left wing activist. He holds a position with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington that was one occupied by David Brock who founded the far left propaganda organization, Media Matters for America.

Richard Painter is the Vice Chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a left-wing activist group.

In December 2016, Painter replaced in the position of Vice Chair … wait for it … David Brock. Yes, that David Brock, the consummate Democratic oppo-research attack dog, leader of Media Matters, and now American Bridge. That David Brock was Vice Chair of CREW tells you everything you need to know about the group.

But you will almost never hear this part of Painter’s resume when he appears on TV, which he does quite often. You might hear that he’s a professor at U. Minnesota Law School. But most of all, you will hear that he is a former George W. Bush administration Chief Ethics Lawyer (2005-2007).

But in the age of Trump, his entree to TV commentary has been relentless Trump bashing — there is nothing the media loves more than someone who served in an Republican administration but now attacks Trump.

And Painter’s main TV role is to attack Trump in outlandish terms. I never heard of Painer — and I bet you never did either — until he started fulfilling the TV role of attacking Trump.


Mr. Eisen is also associated with CREW and was a law school classmate of Barack Obama’s. ‘Nuff said.

Beware of the media’s sleight of hand here. Donald Trump Jr. may be guilty of something beyond incompetence but you won’t get a balanced opinion on it from Eisen and Painter.


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