(CNSNews.com) – Two high-ranking Trump appointees, both forced out of their White House jobs at different times by the former president, are expressing very different attitudes about Trump’s pending indictment.
Former National Security Advisor John Bolton, now a bitter Trump foe, told CNN on Monday morning that Tuesday’s scheduled arraignment is “a very important moment” because it will determine whether “the judge in the case will have control of his courtroom or whether Trump will have control of his courtroom as this plays out.”
Bolton is recommending that the judge refuse to delay the (assumed) Trump trial by putting it on a “rocket docket,” using the argument that justice delayed is justice denied.
“Because I think the Trump team is going to say, oh, it’s such a complicated indictment. It’s going to take many, many months to analyze it. And this and that delay benefits Trump here. That’s why I say the real test tomorrow is the opening scene and whether the Trump team dominates.”
Bolton said the judge should set a trial date of, let’s say, July the fifth this summer…We are going to move this thing because this cloud needs to be resolved for you as a candidate and for the public, and so we’re not going to have delay in justice here. Justice will not be denied. We’re going to move quickly.”
Former Attorney General William Barr, by contrast, told “Fox News Sunday” that the case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is “the very essence of the abuse of the prosecutive function, which is pursuing a person rather than pursuing a real crime.”
Barr noted that Trump made his job as attorney general difficult with all his tweeting, “calling for people’s scalps,” and getting angry “at me for not delivering scalps.”
Nevertheless, Barr said, “I think the case, based again on what’s being reported, the case lacks any legal basis. It’s pursuing somebody on the — there’s nothing inherently wrong or illegal about making a hush payment.
“They’re saying he falsified the corporate record. But for that to even be a misdemeanor you have to be trying to defraud somebody. And it’s unclear exactly who was defrauded. This is his own company.
“And then, finally, and most importantly from the federal standpoint, the idea that this was a campaign finance violation is simply wrong. It’s wrong on the law.”
Barr said he believes the “document case” — the trove of top-secret material retrieved from Mar-a-Lago — “is the most serious case.”
“I don’t think they went after those documents to get Trump. I think they actually wanted the documents back. And what’s at issue in that case is not the taking of the documents. It’s what he did after the government sought them and subpoenaed them, and whether there was any obstruction. And I think that’s the most serious one out there.
“And the other one, I think the January 6th one, is a difficult case to make. It also runs into First Amendment issues. You know, where are you going to draw the line between legitimate First Amendment activity, protesting an election and actually conspiring to undo an election? So, that’s a difficult case to make.
“But, you know, I’m hopeful the (Justice) Department will approach it properly.”
Barr said Bragg has “jumped into the federal arena,” by “interfering in a federal election process. And his case is based on an alleged violation of federal law.”
Barr said that set an ominous precedent:
“And the real danger of this thing over the long term isn’t so much narrowed to Trump. It’s now we have thousands of D.A.s around the country, now that the Rubicon has been crossed, any one of them can find federal candidates or federal office holders and so forth, can find some state law they want to pursue the person on and get themselves into the national political arena.”
Barr called it a “watershed moment,” adding, “I don’t think it’s going to end up good for the country.”
“Part of the problem, of course, is the corruption of the media which has essentially contributed to the creation of a mob mentality in our country, instead of being the restraint on mob thinking,” Barr said.
“They’ve essentially encouraged this kind of thing.”
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