A Painter passing through (again)

Unless you are a faithful Power Line reader, you may have missed the reference to University of Minnesota Law School Professor Richard Painter in David Jensen’s message to me yesterday. Without naming him, Jensen cited Painter to illustrate the ideological diversity at the law school as a member of the faculty who has “advised and worked with (or in)” the (George W.) Bush administration.

Painter is a left-wing flake and two-time DFL candidate. During the Trump administration Painter drew on his service in the Bush administration to become a Trump-bashing star of MSNBC.

This week Painter is back on the Trump beat in the MSNBC column “The Jan. 6 committee needs to follow the money.” For the purposes of the MSNBC column Painter describes himself as “the chief White House ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, under President George W. Bush. He is currently the S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota, and is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.”

It is pathetic that Painter feels compelled to provide his alma maters as credentials at this stage of his career, but it is his desire to mislead readers about his political orientation that is most noteworthy. Readers are not to be advised that he has had some kind of latter day identity crisis and emerged as a kook.

By the way, I am reliably informed by one of Painter’s former colleagues in the White House Counsel’s Office that Painter was a glorified paper shuffler who reviewed the financial disclosures of prospective judicial nominees and worked out conflicts. It was not exactly an exalted position.

According to his former colleague, Painter wanted to be known as the rightwardmost member of the staff. Now Painter wants to be known as the leftwardmost candidate in any given DFL field, but he is one teacher of ethics who does not feel bound by any code to let MSNBC consumers know.

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