The former ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush on Wednesday said President-elect Trump has fewer than 10 days to get his finances in order or he "will be in violation" of the law for failing to divest assets come Inauguration Day.

"He is not in violation of the law as of today," Richard Painter said during a discussion hosted by the Brookings Institution. "These payments from foreign governments have to be out of the Trump business empire or he will be in violation fo the law."

The requirement is not "an obscure provision of the Constitution," Painter explained, but rather it was intended to preserve the independence of the U.S. from foreign powers attempting to meddle in political affairs.

Painter, who worked under Bush as associate counsel from 2005 to 2007, said the only way the incoming Republican leader would have already broken the law would be if someone on his transition team or in campaign had cooperated or was currently working with the Russians during the election.