Laws were not broken by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or her staff in its dealings with the Clinton Foundation, said Richard W. Painter, the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush.
Painter penned an op-ed for the New York Times arguing that Clinton has "successfully answered" the questions surrounding the Clinton Foundation.
"Was there favoritism? Probably, yes. But laws were not broken," Painter wrote. "White House political appointees and members of Congress show favoritism regularly, from how quickly they return campaign contributors' telephone calls to which meeting requests they honor to who gets what they want in the policy arena."
Clinton's opponent, GOP nominee Donald Trump, has accused Clinton of engaging in "pay-to-play" schemes regarding her interaction with the Clinton Foundation.
"It's called pay-for-play and some of these were really, really bad — and illegal. If it's true, it's illegal. You're paying and you're getting things," Trump told a crowd about Clinton in August.
In his op-ed, Painter argued that the problem created by Clinton and the foundation was one of appearances and added that "the Clinton Foundation stories are really nothing new."
"I'm a Republican, but I believe that Hillary Clinton is the only qualified major party candidate in the race and she should become president," Painter wrote. "Yet to win, and certainly to succeed as president, she needs to demonstrate that she understands how much appearances matter, as well as facts and law, and that the president should not unnecessarily open herself up to attack."