Ex-conservative judge calls Trump’s support a ‘colossal political miscalculation’

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Conservative former U.S. Court of Appeals judge J. Michael Luttig said in an op-ed on Sunday that Republicans are making a big mistake by “shamelessly supporting” the Donald Trump’s new candidacy for the White House.

Lutting wrote in The New York Times that the Republican Party is partly responsible for the former president’s federal indictment earlier this month accusing Trump of mishandling classified documents. There are few signs that Trump will face political consequences internally, which undermines the rule of law and threatens the party’s future, Luttig said.

“Building the Republican campaign around the newly indicted frontrunner is a colossal political miscalculation, as comic as it is tragic for the country,” said Luttig, an appointee of Republican President George HW Bush who served from 1991 to 2006.

“No assemblage of politicians except Republicans would ever imagine running for the US presidency running against the Constitution and the rule of law. But that is exactly what they envision.”

Luttig served as an informal adviser to Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence and testified a year ago before the congressional committee that investigated the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

Since federal prosecutors unsealed a 37-count indictment against Trump earlier this month, most candidates in the crowded Republican primary field have come to his defense. Some have said that as president they would forgive Trump if he were convicted in the case.

Polls show Trump holding a strong lead over his Republican rivals.

(Reporting by Tyler Clifford; Editing by Scott Malone and Chizu Nomiyama)

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