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Opinion: Justice Department probe of John Bolton is payback for his daring to criticize Trump

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Elie Honig writes that the recent news that the Justice Department is opening up a criminal investigation into John Bolton relating to the publication of his book, is equal parts futile and dangerous.

(CNN)The Justice Department's decision to open a criminal investigation into former Trump administration National Security Adviser John Bolton relating to the publication of his book, as reported by the New York Times on Tuesday, is equal parts futile and dangerous.

Bolton claims in his book that Trump directly linked hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid to Ukraine publicly announcing an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, a claim which Trump denies.

The Justice Department is investigating whether Bolton unlawfully disclosed classified information in his book.

The Justice Department sued Bolton a week before the book's release, in an attempt to stop it from publishing.

In the broader view, the Bolton investigation signals an escalation in the use of the Justice Department for political purposes (or at a minimum, the public appearance of such).

But if it does, then mark this down: Bolton will not be convicted, and history will remember that Trump and Barr have politicized the Justice Department like none before them.

Jason (North Dakota): If the state of New York brings criminal charges against the President, can the Department of Justice file superseding indictments and move the case to federal courts?

No. There is no legal mechanism for the Justice Department or the federal courts to take over a state-level criminal case, or for a defendant charged criminally in a state court to have the case moved to federal court.

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