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Republican John Bolton warned Thursday that sending former President Donald Trump to trial is a "form of Russian roulette" that may backfire in a big way.
On Thursday, Trump was arraigned in federal court on four new criminal charges: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. Trump pleaded not guilty.
While a court date has not yet been set for trial, Bolton told CNN anchor Jake Tapper that prosecuting the former president is risky — no matter how you cut it.
"I think it's the right thing to do, but it is a modified form of Russian roulette," Bolton declared.
"If Trump is convicted in one or both of the federal cases, I think that will turn things upside down. I think he could be denied the Republican nomination. He'd certainly lose the election," he continued. "But if he is acquitted or a hung jury results, which I think would be understood by most people as being the equivalent of acquittal, I think he would get the Republican nomination, and he could quite possibly win the election on the back of that."
John Bolton weighs in on Trump's arrest and arraignmentwww.youtube.com
The "risk is real," according to Bolton, that if Trump is not convicted, he will be emboldened and empowered.
"His lawyers don't have to prove anything. They simply have to induce reasonable doubt in the minds of one or more jurors to get a hung jury," Bolton said.
"And if people think that he's being railroaded, if they don't believe the prosecution case or they believe whatever case Trump puts on, and this results in a hung jury, in either of the two federal cases, I think we're in for real trouble," he added.
Bolton rooted his caution in Congress twice attempting to impeach Trump. Both attempts, of course, failed and did not end his political career.
Polls conducted after Trump's previous indictments showed that his supporters did not waver. Trump's lead, in fact, grew over his Republican opponents.
There is a real possibility, then, that if the prosecutions do not result in a conviction — meaning a jury of Trump's peers believe prosecutors did not present evidence of the alleged crimes beyond a reasonable doubt — then on-the-fence voters may buy into Trump's argument that he is being targeted by a weaponized Justice Department.
With Americans souring on President Joe Biden, that would be the Democratic Party's worst nightmare.
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Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News