The Deep-State vs. Donald Trump

Adam Marletta
7 min readJun 28, 2023

Former president Donald Trump was indicted on 37 counts of mishandling classified documents, earlier this month. He appeared in federal court in Miami for arraignment, on June 13. Trump is the first U.S. president to ever be charged with a federal crime after leaving office. And Tuesday’s indictment is just one of four government-run investigations into the former president — three criminal, one civil — and his business dealings.

To be certain, it is immensely gratifying to see the bourgeois Trump — a lifelong con-artist with a storied history of shady and illegal business dealings — finally held accountable for his white collar crimes. That said, it seems highly improbable that Trump will actually do any jail time… How many times within the last six years has the liberal news media assured audiences that “This is finally the end of the line for Trump!”…?

But leftists should be cautious about joining the liberal elites in celebrating Trump’s prosecution. The thing is, when Trump denounces the government investigations against him as a “witch hunt,” he is not wrong. It is a witch hunt.

Trump is not being targeted because he broke the law. Indeed, numerous presidents and government officials (including Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden) have mishandled classified documents or information. Recall that James Comey, the former director of the FBI, declined to pursue criminal charges against Clinton for sending and receiving classified information via a private email account.

And the majority of modern U.S. presidents have engaged in considerably worse crimes — including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Where is the criminal prosecution of George W. Bush for his illegal and unjustified invasion of Iraq? The 2003 U.S. war on Iraq left well over a million Iraqis dead. Yet, not only does Bush have the freedom to attend the annual Memorial Day parades in Kennebunkport, unmolested by authorities or residents, he is now openly celebrated by “#Resistance” liberals as part of the “Never Trump” right-wing coalition. Never mind that Bush, as president, posed a far greater threat to bourgeois “democracy,” both abroad and at home, than Trump.

These state investigations are all part of an effort to prevent Trump from ever accessing the White House, again. The “deep state” views the erratic and unpredictable Trump as too much of a wild card. He is too difficult to control. And, most importantly, he rejects — at least rhetorically — the so-called “Washington Consensus” regarding neoliberal free-market and “free-trade” policies. He routinely railed against NAFTA and other lopsided “free-trade” deals which have decimated the U.S. manufacturing sector and the working-class. This, indeed, was Trump’s greatest crime in the eyes of U.S. ruling elites.

As president, Trump frequently mocked and defied the ruling-class — a class he is a part of, yet, socially, has never been fully embraced by. His quasi-populist rhetoric on the campaign trail appealed to disaffected working-class voters, particularly those in the “Rustbelt” areas of the Midwest and rural Maine. Many of these white working-class people voted for Barack Obama in 2008. And Obama promptly proceeded to sell those voters out.

Rhetorically, Trump presented himself as something of an anti-war candidate with his criticism of the United States’ interminable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Never mind that, at the time, Trump expressed support for the former war.) Indeed, it was Trump, not Biden, who brokered the deal with the Taliban for the U.S.’s withdrawal from the country, in August of 2021. As such, Trump was to the left of the warmongering Hillary Clinton on issues of foreign policy.

(Trump’s anti-war rhetoric proved to be little more than empty campaign gesturing. As president, Trump fired missiles at Syria, arbitrarily assassinated Iran’s top military general, Qasem Soleimani, and engaged in reckless, bellicose language that brought the U.S. perilously close to a nuclear war with North Korea. But again, Trump is not being criminally investigated for any of these actions.)

Trump is again posing as an anti-war critic for his 2024 run with his criticism of U.S. support for Ukraine.

As Chris Hedges observes in a March 26 piece for ScheerPost:

The Donald Trump problem is the same as the Richard Nixon problem. When Nixon was forced to resign under the threat of impeachment, it wasn’t for his involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity, nor was it for his illegal use of the CIA and other federal agencies to spy upon, intimidate, harass and destroy radicals, dissidents and activists. Nixon was brought down because he targeted other members of the ruling political and economic establishment. Once Nixon, like Trump, attacked the centers of power, the media was unleashed to expose abuses and illegalities it had previously minimized or ignored.

Socialists for the Espionage Act

Then there is the problem with the specific law Trump has been charged under: The Espionage Act. Trump faces 31 charges of violating the 1917 law — established shortly after the U.S. entry into the First World War — which targeted “disloyal” Americans who spoke out against the capitalist war.

Indeed, the Espionage Act has historically been used against figures on the left — most notably, the socialist labor organizer, Eugene V. Debs. Debs was arrested under the newly-established law and sentenced to ten years in prison for delivering an anti-war speech in Canton, Ohio, on June 16, 1918. He famously ran for president from prison with the Socialist Party, garnering nearly one million votes.

Other leftists charged under the Espionage Act include, the socialist Victor Berger; anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman; and whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Reality Winner. The long-embattled WikiLeaks whistleblower, Julian Assange, has been indicted on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act.

Simply put, no self-respecting socialist should celebrate the use of this draconian, anti-democratic law — regardless of whom it is employed against.

The “Soft-Coup” Against Trump

Since Donald Trump’s shock election in 2016, the capitalist state has been attempting to undermine, discredit, and topple his presidency. Between the long-debunked “Russiagate” campaign, to the Democrats’ two efforts to impeach Trump, the U.S. ruling-class has been more or less engaged in a soft-coup for the last seven years, now. Again, it is worth noting that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to even entertain the notion of impeaching Bush for considerably worse constitutional abuses of power.

Sen. Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), even cryptically hinted to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, shortly after Trump’s election, that if “you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” Schumer added, regarding Trump’s hostile threats to the U.S. Intelligence Department, that he is “being really dumb to do this.”

If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Jail ‘Em!

The Democrats are desperate to prevent Trump from becoming president again. And they know that Biden is highly unpopular — even among Democratic voters. Seventy percent of registered Democrats do not want Biden to seek a second term.

It is no secret why. Biden has failed to deliver any meaningful gains for working-class Americans. He refuses to cancel student debt. He has opened Alaska up for oil drilling. He is continuing Trump’s practice of locking migrant families in cages. He slashed food stamps for 42 million poor Americans — many of them single-mothers and children. And Biden and the Democratic Party unilaterally voted to prevent rail workers from going on strike last December. Yet the major unions are nonetheless obsequiously endorsing Biden for re-election — nearly two years before the 2024 general election!

Perhaps worst of all, Biden continues to pour billions of dollars into the U.S. proxy war with Russia in Ukraine while working-class Americans struggle with inflation, ludicrously high rents, low wages, and unaffordable health care.

The Democratic Party knows that there is a real possibility Trump could win re-election in 2024. But rather than offer working-class voters some modicum of social-democratic economic improvements (via a candidate like Bernie Sanders who they have sabotaged twice, now), they would rather double-down on the very brand of Clintonite neoliberalism that ravaged those workers’ lives and caused them to abandon the party. The Democrats’ mindsight is, apparently, “If you can’t beat ’em … jail ’em!”

There is a word for political parties that jail their opponents. That word is “fascist.”

While “#Resistance” liberals and MSNBC would have us believe it is Trump who is the real fascist (and, true, the man does employee some disturbing authoritarian characteristics…) consider that it is the Democratic Party that routinely engages in censorship, “de-platforming,” and a refusal to engage in debates.

Cue Accusations I am a Closet Trump Supporter in Three…, Two…, One…

None of this should be read as any sort of support (or, for that matter, even sympathy) for Donald Trump. I abhor the man. I do not doubt for a moment that Trump is guilty of all of the crimes he has been charged with. Indeed, in the classified documents case, he has readily admitted — boasted of, even — his guilt. We have the photographs to prove it.

Trump absolutely deserves to go to jail. As does Barack Obama, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush … and basically every president since the end of the Second World War.

But let’s get real: This is a witch hunt against Trump. It has been from the start.

And let’s please jettison this liberal nonsense about the essential “neutrality” of The Law. Laws are determined and enforced by the ruling class. They are created by the elite, for the elite. As such, laws are always selective in their application. To wit, wealthy white-collar criminals like Trump are, as a matter of course, almost never held accountable for their crimes. Yet, poor and homeless people are routinely harassed, assaulted, and arrested simply for the “crime” of being poor. The bourgeois law is what allows a police officer to kill a black man in broad daylight and face no legal consequences.

The average Trump supporter may not be the most educated voter. But even he can see through the capitalist charade of “equal justice under the law.”

Lock Trump up…? Absolutely. And while we are at it, let’s lock Biden up, as well. In fact, let’s arrest all the major players and leaders of the two capitalist political parties, and establish a party that truly represents working-class voters. Cornel West’s 2024 campaign with the Green Party might be a good place to start.

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Adam Marletta

Writer, socialist, and coffee-fiend. I have written for the West End News, Socialist Worker, a bunch of decidedly less interesting publications.