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On Friday, John Bolton, the former national security adviser during the Trump administration, expressed his opinion that former President Donald Trump should opt out of the 2024 Republican nomination race due to the criminal charges he is currently facing in both New York and Florida.
In transcript provided by Newsmax, Bolton wrote, “Donald Trump should immediately withdraw as a candidate for president. Criminal charges are piling up around him. If Trump truly stood for America First policies, he would support the rule of law instead of continually flouting it. Withdraw now!”
Bolton emerged as a strong opponent of the previous president following his departure from the administration in 2019. However, he did express support for Trump when the latter faced legal charges in April. The charges, consisting of 34 felony counts related to filing false business records in the first degree, were brought by Democrat Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Trump maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty to all allegations.
Following Trump’s indictment by special counsel Jack Smith for mishandling classified records at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Bolton expressed his concern about the divisive nature of these prosecutions. He argued that such actions only serve to further divide the United States, ultimately benefiting adversaries like Russia and China.
Bolton then wrote, “I can assure you that the China/Russia axis and their associates want Trump to continue his mockery of a campaign despite more indictments. Our division is their gain. A weak and distracted American president is an opportunity they could never create for themselves. A Trump-Biden rematch is their dream.”
In a separate tweet, Bolton urged the GOP to establish a rule that would render individuals facing federal or state indictments ineligible to run for the presidency. However, he acknowledged that implementing such a rule would likely face constitutional challenges. The Constitution currently does not prohibit individuals under criminal investigation or even those serving prison sentences from running for the presidency.