Democrats leading attack today against constitutional rights working people need

By Terry Evans
April 24, 2023

The 34 copycat felony charges filed against Donald Trump by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg are the latest installment in a six-year-long drive by the Democrats and middle-class left to drive him out of politics and destroy his family. In doing so, they continue to deal serious blows to political rights working people need.

From our own experiences millions of workers know that the bosses disregard our rights and constitutional protections when they go after us and our unions. And whenever one of the two capitalist parties tosses these rights aside in an effort to deal blows to their opponents, the same and worse will be done against our class and anyone who the rulers think stand in their way.

After unsealing his indictment, Bragg was asked what exact laws were broken. “The indictment doesn’t specify it because the law does not so require,” he replied, tossing aside the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution that gives anyone accused of a crime the right “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation,” in order to defend themselves.

Bragg’s case, and the entire drive of the Democrats, is a classic example of picking a target and then finding a “crime” to pin on them. This has driven every single one of the Democrats’ moves against Trump — from the FBI’s spy operations and fake “Russian control” probe against his 2016 campaign to the armed raid on his Mar-a-Lago home last year.

Bragg claims “Trump repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public.” To cover up the lack of any legal standing for the charge, and make his case look weightier, he turned them into 34 separate counts. But they’re all for the same “crime,” strung out by listing every invoice, check stub and statement recording monthly payments made by Trump in 2017 to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, which Bragg says were repayment for “hush money” paid to Stephanie Clifford.

Bragg tries to twist these payments into “illegal campaign contributions,” saying they were aimed at suppressing stories that would have a negative impact on Trump’s 2016 campaign.

If the case against Trump doesn’t get thrown out — as it should be — hearings are slated to begin in December and run through the 2024 campaign. This is designed to feed the liberal media with fodder to try to make Trump the issue in the race.

The indictment is built on the frame-up plea bargain deal prosecutors forced on Cohen to get him to turn on Trump. Prosecutors threatened to charge him with crimes that carry up to 65 years in prison. His lawyer, Lanny Davis, described how prosecutors bullied him. “On Friday afternoon he was given an ultimatum: Either plead guilty to everything. We’re not even going to show you the tax documents. Or, by Monday morning we’re going to indict you and your wife.” This story rings all too true to many workers who face similar experiences at the hands of prosecutors when we’re caught up in the capitalist “justice” system.

Cohen now denies the tax evasion charges he pled guilty to in 2018.

For good reason, the Constitution demarcates a clear separation of powers between federal and state governments — and their prosecutors. Bragg is turning this protection on its head, claiming he has the power to prosecute a federal campaign finance violation after federal prosecutors rejected doing so.

Commentators in the liberal press and middle-class left web outlets are filled with glee about the indictment. New York Times columnist Pamela Paul writes that it’s good regardless of the outcome, because Trump should have been stopped from running way back in 2016, not for any crime, but for “Lying. Cheating, personally and professionally,” and for “sexism.”

Writing in the Communist Party’s online People’s World, Mark Gruenberg claims Trump’s payments to Cohen were an “obstruction of justice.” He throws in charges that Trump “instigated” the Jan. 6, 2021, “insurrection, invasion, and coup d’etat” and should be barred from ever running again.

‘Setback for the rule of law’

But others are wary. Their concern is to defend the capitalist legal setup, which rests on a veneer of impartiality that is used to mask the class character of the courts. The indictment is a “setback for the rule of law and established a dangerous precedent for prosecutors,” Jed Handelsman Shugerman writes in the Times. Many Never-Trump conservatives also oppose the indictment — not because they’re outraged by its flagrant abuse of rights, but because they worry it might help Trump get the Republican nomination.

The indictment is accelerating the abuse of subpoenas and the courts by both bosses’ parties against each other. The Republican-dominated House Judiciary Committee summoned Mark Pomerantz, a former New York prosecutor in the Trump investigation, who wrote a “tell all” book complaining about Bragg’s handling of the case. In response, Bragg filed a lawsuit against committee Chair James Jordan April 11, demanding a judge block the subpoena.

Bragg says Congress has no right to look into his investigation, even though it’s improperly based on federal statutes.

In response to the liberals’ claims that Jan. 6 rioters broke the law by disrupting Congress, Tennessee’s Republican-led House expelled Democratic representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, who joined a protest over gun control and disrupted a session of the legislature March 30. Jones has since been reinstated.

The liberal-led assault on constitutional rights of Jan. 6 defendants continues apace. A federal appeals court ruled April 7 that prosecutors could now charge hundreds with “obstruction of government proceedings” for the riot. If convicted they face up to 20 years in prison, as opposed to just a year for trespassing.

Safeguarding presumption of innocence, free speech, separation of powers and many more constitutional protections is crucial for workers and our unions. Regardless of who the capitalist parties target today, we are the real target.