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Ex-national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday blasted the charges filed against his ex-boss, former President Trump, saying the indictment was “even weaker than I feared it would be.”
“Speaking as someone who very strongly does not want Donald Trump to get the Republican presidential nomination, I’m extraordinarily distressed by this document,” Bolton said on CNN. “I think this is even weaker than I feared it would be.”
Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser from 2018 to 2019 before later emerging as a vocal critic of the former president, slammed the charges filed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Tuesday after Trump appeared in court for his arraignment. The former president was charged with 34 felony counts including falsifying business records.
The case laid out in the New York indictment of Trump details an alleged scheme devised by the former president, his lawyer and the parent company of the tabloid National Enquirer to pay for and kill stories that could have been damaging to then-candidate Trump ahead of the 2016 election.
But Bolton said the indictment was weak, arguing it would be subject to dismissal.
“I think it’s easily subject to being dismissed or a quick acquittal for Trump,” Bolton said.
The argument that the case being built by Bragg is weak is one that Trump also spun after leaving Manhattan court on Tuesday, saying on his Truth Social platform that “the hearing was shocking to many in that they had no “surprises,” and therefore, no case.”
Other top Republican lawmakers, including Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), publicly criticized the indictment of Trump on Tuesday.
Bolton fell out with Trump after leaving his administration, particularly disagreeing with the former president’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Bolton has said that he is considering a 2024 White House bid of his own.