John Bolton Reports “Rifle Shot” In Trump Indictment

Former President Donald Trump’s one-time national security adviser is sounding off on his boss once again, this time about his latest federal indictment. 

On Monday, John Bolton appeared on a CNN program with Phil Mattingly to discuss what will happen now that Trump has been indicted as part of the federal probe into his handling of classified documents. Bolton, who has strayed from the president’s support in recent years, said that the indictment will be a “rifle shot” to his hopes of winning election to the White House once again.

The indictment against Trump contains 37 federal criminal counts, including illegal retention of classified documents, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. 

During his CNN appearance on Monday, Bolton was asked to discuss the specific nature of those documents that were taken. He spoke to the secrets of national security concern that the former president knew he had on him in the documents that were at his Mar-a-Lago estate that had remained classified.

Bolton explained:

“If he has anything like what the complaint, what the indictment alleges – and, of course, the government will have to prove it – then he has committed very serious crimes. This is a devastating indictment. … Not only is it powerful, it’s very narrowly tailored.

“They didn’t throw everything up against the wall to see what would stick. This really is a rifle shot, and I think it should be the end of Donald Trump’s political career.”

Mattingly then pivoted the conversation when they began to discuss some other Republicans who have said that “a trial or an indictment of a former president and the front-runner in the Republican nomination is far worse for the country than what actually happened here.”

Bolton said that he didn’t “buy that argument at all.” He also wondered whether that might lead to standards being erased in terms of holding federal politicians accountable to what the law is.

He further explained what he was thinking, when he said:

“Assume, for example, for the sake of discussion, that Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, fill in the blank, should be indicted, should be prosecuted, and the failure to do so constitutes a double standard. Just assume that for the purposes of discussion.

“Now, look at this indictment of Donald Trump. Do those people who make that complaint say, ‘therefore, the answer is not to prosecute Donald Trump?’ That the response to a double standard is to move to no standard at all? Absolutely not.

“Republicans used to believe that not prosecuting criminals led to more crime. The answer here is take politics out of the decision, and in this case, proceed with the prosecution and do the same for anybody else who does anything even remotely like it.”

One hope that Bolton had that he expressed during his CNN appearance is that some of the GOP primary rivals that Trump has would “tell voters the truth” regarding the indictment. 

That won’t be possible, though, unless more details about the indictment are unsealed.