Former US national security adviser John Bolton has issued a stark warning regarding Donald Trump’s pursuit of the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, suggesting that it could have grave consequences for both the party and the nation, particularly if Trump succeeds.
Trump’s ex-appointee’s fiery comments come as his ex-boss has been indicted on federal obstruction and conspiracy charges.
Bolton’s analysis, published in UK newspaper The Telegraph on Thursday, focuses on the mounting legal challenges, criminal and civil, that Trump is facing. He highlights the potential risks if Trump were to become the first convicted felon nominated or elected as president.
Bolton is also a contributor to this publication as well.
In an op-ed piece, Bolton points out the potential clash between Trump’s personal interests and the national interest. He notes that staying in the race could aid Trump in securing the nomination and funds to address his rising legal expenses. Bolton argues that winning the general elections would grant Trump the power to end federal investigations and prosecutions, allowing him to protect himself from legal troubles.
Bolton characterizes Trump’s approach as unique, as he appears to view politics as his legal defense. He explains how Trump’s legal team is likely to seek delays in pre-trial proceedings and trials, with the hope of pushing them beyond election day. Bolton emphasizes that Trump’s high legal fees might even make the presidential campaign a necessary source of funding for his legal defense.
If Trump’s strategy succeeds and he is inaugurated, he could potentially dismiss the federal special counsel and order the cases to be dropped. Bolton suggests that while state cases would persist, Trump might seek to delay or challenge those as well.
If state prosecutions move forward and Trump is found guilty, he predicts that Trump might refuse to accept the verdicts, leading to an unprecedented constitutional crisis.
Bolton also claims that America’s global adversaries would exploit Trump’s vulnerability and his tendency to prioritize personal interests over national interests.
While polls indicate that a majority of Americans do not want a repeat of the 2020 election scenario, with many wanting Trump to withdraw, Bolton suggests that the solution might lie in the ongoing criminal trials. If Trump were to be found guilty of felonies, it could sway some of his supporters and potentially derail his campaign.
Who is John Bolton?
Bolton served as the National Security Advisor under President Donald Trump’s administration from April 2018 to September 2019. Bolton’s relationship with Trump was characterized by both periods of alignment and significant disagreements on various policy matters.
While Bolton was initially seen as a hawkish foreign policy adviser who shared some views with the Trump administration, their relationship became strained due to differing perspectives on key issues, including North Korea, Iran, and Afghanistan.
Bolton advocated for a tougher approach towards countries like Iran and North Korea, often advocating for a more assertive stance and military options. However, his positions sometimes clashed with President Trump’s desire for diplomacy, negotiation, and in the case of North Korea, pursuing a diplomatic path.
The pair’s differences led to Bolton’s departure from the Trump administration in September 2019. Since leaving his role, Bolton has been highly critical of Trump’s policy approach.
‘No Smoking Gun’
Not everyone is as sure as Bolton that Trump is on the road to nowhere.
Democrat lawyer Professor Alan Dershowitz told Fox News on Wednesday: “There is no smoking gun. But 90% of the jury pool will have voted against him so they may actually get a conviction from a DC jury but will it survive appellate court? I don’t think so.”
Moreover, Trump’s support continues to surge among GOP voters with fresh polling from The New York Times/Siena poll showing that more than half of respondents favored the ex-President, regardless of his legal woes.