Biden’s witch hunt against Trump attacks political rights

By Terry Evans
July 31, 2023

The ever-expanding number of “investigations” and charges being filed against Donald Trump is unparalleled. This highly partisan operation against the likely nominee of one of the bosses’ two main parties is being carried out by President Joseph Biden, Trump’s likely opponent in 2024.

This is a serious threat to constitutional protections that workers need. Efforts by one of the capitalist rulers’ parties to criminalize another always end up being turned against the working class.

And it’s a direct attack on tens of millions who voted for Trump and say they will consider doing so again next year. The Los Angeles Times ran a July 9 article headlined, “The lasting threat is not the ‘next Trump’ but the MAGA base.” In it Miles Taylor likens anyone who thinks there were problems with the conduct of the 2020 election to millions in the 1930s who “believed Hitler’s lie.”

Taylor’s commentary is one of many that dismiss so-called election deniers as rightist lunatics. Biden himself said so-called MAGA Republicans are “semi-fascists.” What’s at stake has nothing to do with whether Trump’s unproven claim the 2020 election was rigged is true or not.

Every election under capitalism is “rigged,” rigged on behalf of the propertied rulers. The entire purpose of the assault against Trump and his supporters by Biden, the Democratic Party, liberal media and the middle-class left is to do just that.

And the elections under capitalism are rigged big-time against any working-class party, like the Socialist Workers Party, being able to present an alternative. Onerous requirements are imposed on working-class parties to bar them from the ballot, and the big-business media moves might and main to keep them out of the press.

Whenever the Democrats or Republicans get a majority, they push gerrymandering and other schemes designed to give them an advantage over their electoral rivals. To this day millions believe that voter fraud by Mayor Richard Daley’s Democratic machine in Chicago churned out ballots to throw the 1960 presidential election to John F. Kennedy.

Underlying Democrats’ smear campaign is the rulers’ fear of working people. For decades, the capitalist two-party system has delivered nothing but crushed expectations to workers, farmers and other exploited producers. Millions recognize that the government will continue offloading the capitalist crisis onto our shoulders whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House.

Today more workers are turning to the unions to resist bosses’ assaults and to fight for our class interests. Through strikes and other struggles, workers are winning solidarity from fellow unionists and discovering what we can do when we unite and act together against the exploiting class.

Gov’t prosecutors expand probes

Democrats’ efforts to jail Trump are expanding. Jack Smith, the Biden Justice Department’s special counsel, has widened his moves to generate new charges against Trump in Arizona and Georgia, issuing subpoenas, grilling witnesses and offering immunity to anyone who will finger the former president.

Trump’s lawyers filed a motion July 10 for an indefinite delay to his trial on Smith’s charges he unlawfully held onto a few dozen of his presidential papers, charges based on the notorious World War I-era witch hunt Espionage Act. The trial is set to begin in December and run into the 2024 electioneering, when “opposing candidates are effectively (if not literally) directly adverse to one another,” Trump’s lawyers say. Such a schedule “will impact both the outcome of that election and, importantly, the ability of the Defendants to obtain a fair trial.”

Any delay is abhorrent to Smith. The purpose of the prosecution and accompanying hoopla is to have the trial run during the campaign, in hopes of swinging the vote for Biden. Smith insisted the trial begin Dec. 11. He claimed a “speedy trial is a foundational requirement of the Constitution.”

That’s not accurate, as any attorney surely knows. “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial,” says the Sixth Amendment. That right belongs to the accused, not the accuser. It’s a protection from the government, not a weapon to aid the Democratic Party’s electoral chances.

In a related development, the Justice Department unsealed an indictment against Gal Luft July 10 charging him with being an unregistered agent of the Chinese government and illegally trading in oil and arms. Luft denies the charges and has gone incommunicado.

The real reason he’s been indicted is to help paint Trump as a threat to “national security,” a charge that harks back to the fake “Russian collusion” accusations of 2016. It’s the real reason they charged Trump under the Espionage Act.

The opening paragraph of the Luft indictment says that in 2016 he acted on orders from Beijing to try to recruit a “former high-ranking U.S. Government official, including while the former official was an adviser to the then-President-elect,” i.e., Trump.

Luft is also targeted by Democrats because in 2019 he made accusations about corrupt financial dealings by Hunter Biden, the president’s son. Republicans had wanted to call Luft before Congress and say the charges were made to try to silence him.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act was adopted in 1938, part of a raft of laws aimed at outlawing opposition in the unions to the U.S. rulers’ drive to enter the second imperialist world war. Ever since, it has been used to attack political targets of the capitalist rulers and undermine free speech protections. It enables the government to target anyone whose views appear similar to those of some foreign government.

Today three members of the African People’s Socialist Party have been charged as “Russian agents” under the witch hunt law. They were indicted after an FBI SWAT team raided their headquarters and residences in St. Louis and St. Petersburg, Florida, last year, using flash-bang grenades and carrying automatic weapons.

The fight to end the frame-up of the APSP and its members is an important part of the defense of constitutional freedoms today. So too is demanding the charges against Trump be thrown out.