Karl Rove, a former top aide to President George W. Bush, is excoriating former President Donald Trump over an indictment alleging he mishandled classified documents, saying his “childish impulses” are forcing America to “pay a high price.”
Mr. Rove scolded the most recent GOP president in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal this week.
“America has been plunged into an unprecedented crisis by the indictment of Donald Trump,” Mr. Rove, a key player in Mr. Bush’s political career, wrote. “The blame for this calamity rests solely on Mr. Trump and his childish impulse to keep mementos from his time in the Oval Office, no matter what the law says.”
Mr. Trump pleaded not guilty this week to 37 counts that allege he unlawfully stored classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and obstructed federal efforts to return them to the National Archives.
Mr. Trump and his followers say the indictment is a witch hunt designed to thwart the ex-president’s campaign for president in 2024.
Yet Mr. Rove says Mr. Trump knew his classified papers were not personal property and could have spared the nation from partisan strife.
The legal case “will further tear our country apart, as it has a heavy impact on the presidential campaign and — wrongly — undermines confidence in our justice system,” he wrote.
“Extreme as this situation is, it could easily have been avoided if Mr. Trump simply followed the law and left behind his precious keepsakes,” Mr. Rove said.
Mr. Trump and his allies have sparred with Bush officials in the past, saying they left American workers behind and were too quick to launch wars abroad.
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