Prominent Republican accuses Donald Trump of trying to lead a “coup” against the U.S.

Over the weekend, Fox News and Kellyanne Conway accused the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller of trying to lead a “coup” against Donald Trump by daring to investigate Trump’s wide array of Russia-related crimes against the United States. Back in the real world, that remark sparked significant controversy, as it was overboard even by the usual Fox News propaganda standards. Now one prominent Republican, who is no fan of Trump to begin with, is accusing Trump of trying to lead a coup against the U.S.

Richard Painter was the chief ethics lawyer in the final years of the George W. Bush White House, and he’s since moved on to become a law professor and a respected legal expert on cable news. He’s still very much a Republican, but he has moderate views on most issues, and he hasn’t hesitated to call out Donald Trump for his lies and crimes. Painter appeared on MSNBC and ripped into Trump on Tuesday.

Painter said “There is a risk of [Trump] using that power to destroy our democracy, whether you call it a coup or anything else. It’s not from the critics of Donald Trump that the danger is posed. It’s the fact that the man who is Commander-in-Chief of our military is engaged in obstruction of justice.” He was also critical of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway’s eagerness to agree with the Fox News host in question when the word “coup” was being thrown around.

Richard Painter is part of the “CREW” effort to challenge Donald Trump’s violations of the Emoluments Clause in court. He’s also harshly criticized the Republican Party’s current tax scam bill, which raises taxes on the working class and gives the money to the wealthy. Painter also recently characterized the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails as having been a waste of time.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report