Bolton says guilty verdict could hurt Trump with independent voters: ‘Not a good look’

John Bolton, former national security adviser, weighed in on the jury deliberations in former President Trump’s criminal hush money case Wednesday, saying a guilty verdict would not be a “good look” for Trump’s chances of wooing independent voters.

“I don’t think a conviction, even in a Manhattan courtroom, helps anybody. He will still be, potentially, a convicted felon at that point,” Bolton told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. “I think a lot of independent voters, they may say, ‘That’s the end of it for us.’”

Bolton continued, saying a guilty verdict, making Trump the first former U.S. president to be convicted, would fire up his fan base, but “it’s not a good look to be convicted under any circumstances.”

The jury began the second day of deliberations Thursday. A verdict could come at any time.

According to a recent poll, more than two-thirds of voters believe a guilty verdict for Trump would not impact their vote. Sixty-seven percent say a guilty verdict would not affect their vote, while 17 percent said they would be less likely to vote for the former president.

Trump must remain at the courthouse while the jury deliberates, as he and his team could be needed throughout the process, or a verdict could be reached.

Bolton said he thinks it’s driving Trump “crazy” to wait there, because it’s “nerve-wracking for everybody.” He argued that Trump is likely preparing himself for whatever decision could be reached.

“The difference between this and other prior cases for Trump that threatened him and his future is this time, he’s in the middle of an election campaign,” he said. “So, he’s got a particular target. And that’s Joe Biden.”

Bolton said his campaign is trying to keep Trump’s “eyes on the prize,” which is defeating Biden in the general election this fall.

In his opinion, Bolton said he thinks the trial outcome will be a hung jury, but a conviction “is possible.”

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