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3 Apr, 2023 12:52

Indictment could be ‘rocket fuel’ for Trump campaign – Bolton

The ex-US president will claim to be “vindicated” if he is acquitted, his former adviser has warned
Indictment could be ‘rocket fuel’ for Trump campaign – Bolton

The indictment of former US President Donald Trump over alleged hush money payments to an adult film star could eventually boost his chances of securing the Republican presidential nomination, former National Security Advisor John Bolton suggested on Sunday.

Bolton, a long-time conservative and foreign policy hawk, said he was concerned that the prosecution led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg could end up benefiting his former boss during his presidential campaign.

“If Trump is acquitted or he gets the case dismissed… that will be rocket fuel, because he can say, ‘I told you it was a political prosecution, I told you I was being picked on, and now I’ve been vindicated,’” Bolton told CBS News.

He claimed, however, that should the former president be convicted, most Americans would be unlikely to consider him for re-election.

Bolton also criticized the way some Republicans have reacted to the charges against Trump, with many prominent GOP members accusing Bragg of pursuing a politically motivated investigation.

“I have to say, watching the response to the indictment has not been encouraging for the future of the party. Trump is a cancer on the Republican Party,” the former official asserted. Bolton also accused Trump of “basically extorting” his party.

“He’s threatening that if he doesn't get the nomination, he’ll blow up the presidential campaign, and whoever the Democrats nominate will win,” Bolton suggested.

Trump was indicted by a grand jury last week over an alleged $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to stop her from going public about an affair. Trump denies any sexual involvement with the actress.

While the exact nature of the indictment will not be formally unsealed until Trump is arraigned on Tuesday, AP has reported that he is facing several charges of falsifying business records, including a felony offense. The former president has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the indictment as “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.” 

Trump announced last November that he would run again for the US presidency. Despite the indictment, he is leading Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, his main rival for the Republican nomination, by 26%, according to a recent YahooNews/YouGov poll.