The Trump-shelter-search incident is a new political occurrence in the US. Then, the interview came.
Donald Trump, former US president, during an almost day-long interview with the New York attorney general, answered only a single question, and that was about his name. The interview was from about 9:30 a.m. to about 3 p.m., with a few breaks. That was an unusual silence from Trump.
Trump was asked about his business practices during the legal interview, and the former president was repeatedly invoking his right against self-incrimination – the Fifth Amendment right. He continued telling until the interview was over: “Same answer”. The same person, Trump, said in 2016 in a rally in Iowa: Invoking the Fifth Amendment is an admission of wrongdoing: “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” Time distances.
The interview was to determine the course of a civil investigation into his company’s business practices. Since 2019, Trump and his business organization (TO) is being investigated – whether the TO has improperly inflated value of his hotels, golf clubs and other assets to gain loans and tax breaks. Trump called the investigation as a “witch hunt”, being targeted by lawyers, prosecutors and media, so, no other option than resort to the 5th Amendment, despite being “innocent”. Another criminal investigation on the same question – inflating value – is being conducted against Trump.
Further arguments and counter-arguments including the process of valuation of property, and courses of the investigations, and its follow ups including possible perjury investigation and negative or adverse inference, parts of bourgeois legal system, are different questions. There’re questions of banks/financial institutions, bogus valuations, favorable loans, tax breaks and profit – issues the bourgeoisie are concerned with.
Here, the question is the former president’s practice with legal right. He has all the rights to invoke related right. But, with only a single answer? Amazing!
How would have the so-called “democracy”-sentinels, the imperialist force bent on imposing its designed “democracy”, ridiculed had it happened in a country the force considers its non-ally? But, this is happening there, a political system claiming as a castle of democracy!
Two days earlier to this 5th Amendment-Answer incident in New York, August 8, FBI searched Mar-a-Lago, probably, from Sea-to-Lake. The property in Palm Beach, Florida, is Trump’s home and private club. The search is part of an investigation into sensitive and classified material Trump improperly took while he left the White House.
The search of a former president’s home is unheard-of in US history.
The search was followed by Trump’s claim: “Such an assault could only take place in broken third-world countries. Sadly, America has now become one of those countries – corrupt at a level not seen before.” He repeated his criticism on his Truth Social account: “Banana Republic!” Trump said: “It is a prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024.”
So, there’re a lot: Broken Third World countries, banana republic, unexampled corruption, prosecutorial misconduct, weaponization of the justice system, radical left. The meanings of the words or terms used by the former president are difficult to perceive – what will be the consequence if justice system is weaponized by a section of the ruling elites against other, what shockwaves will be created if the radical left takes hold of power there, and what message will go to the entire world if such things happen? A claim incomprehensible! Radical left is really an enemy to many realtors.
One thing is clear: Factional fight among the ruling classes has reached a certain level, where one faction or one sub-faction perceives the situation in this way.
The accusations are coming from a former president, and the former president is not from a Third World country. He once led the most powerful country. How such a person took hold of leadership of the country if such accusations are baseless? Or, why he’s now making such accusations?
It’s true such accusations are made in Third or Fourth World countries by groups of politicians as they face criminal investigations for corruption and other wrongdoings, or factional fight among the ruling elites in those countries rage on; and much of the accusations are not baseless.
But, in the US, an advanced bourgeois democracy that unceasingly sermons all the world about “democracy”, that makes “democracy” one of the cornerstones of its geotactic and carries on a global campaign for “democracy”, and the country on which many Third World politicians depend for “democracy”, isn’t that – Trump’s claims – a new statement? Were such accusations ever made by other former US presidents? Even, such accusation was absent when a presidential election was decided by a court after counting number of holes by type, dimple, etc., in ballot papers, years ago. Has something in the political arrangement rotten down?
It was not only Trump? He was, for reasons of interest, joined by his camp followers in the Republican Party and media: Governor Ron DeSantis, Senators Marco Rubio and Marsha Blackburn, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Representatives Jim Jordan, Mike Turner, Scott Perry, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, Fox News hosts Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham, and podcaster Stephen K Bannon.
The accusations or claims, and demands and denunciations/condemnations by the politicians and media personalities mentioned above were basically Trump’s echo:
# “The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization. When Republicans tack back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department […] Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar.”
# “In the history of our country, this action is unprecedented. I am exceptionally skeptical of this being anything other than politically motivated. There are serious questions about the unprecedented FBI raid […]”
# “[T]he bureau’s [FBI] years-long campaign to take down president Trump. [A] political witch hunt.”
# “We are turning into a banana republic at record speed.”
# “Using government power to persecute political opponents is something we have seen many times from 3rd world Marxist dictatorships. But never before in America.”
# “The FBI’s raid […] is incredibly concerning, especially Biden admin’s history of going after parents & other political opponents. This is 3rd World country stuff. We need answers NOW. The FBI must explain what they are doing today & why.”
# “Banana Republic.”
# “This is the worst attack on this republic in modern history. […] It’s an attack on everybody who supports him [Trump].”
# “DEFUND THE FBI.”
# FBI is “the Gestapo.”
# “We are at war.”
# What happened to Trump was “the kind of thing you expect to see in Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany or communist Cuba.”
# The search was not only egregious but historic for all the wrong reasons.
# “Why don’t [FBI director] Chris Wray and [Attorney General] Merrick Garland come in front of us this Friday and answer our questions?”
# “[A] dark day for our republic, the Department of Justice, the rule of law.”
# Use of intelligence and law enforcement agencies to go after political opponents.
So, there’re all types of accusations – from Soviet Union to Cuba to Nazi Germany, politicization, witch hunt, from Gestapo to banana republic, dark day.
There’re also calls to investigate the justice department, FBI, attorney general; explain justification of the raid; and fire the FBI director.
Even, there was suggestion from a news host to have a wide purge, if Congress is retaken: “When we get power back, it’s time to hold everyone accountable – the military leadership, the civilian leadership, the civil service, those in Congress who have abused power. All of them have to be held accountable.”
Nothing vital to the state is spared! A full-fledged purge plan!
The force of fury of a section is clearly visible and audible; and the section isn’t insignificant. Important parts of the state machine are being questioned, and simultaneously a few words sound threatening. This condition doesn’t grow without cause; and this condition doesn’t cease here from further widening and intensifying; and it isn’t without consequences. This is happening there in the United States.
Now, the story takes another turn.
Citing a report by the Washington Post, on August 12, Reuters said in an unconfirmed report that “US federal agents were looking for documents relating to nuclear weapons when they raided” Trump’s home. “It was not clear if such documents were recovered at the […] Mar-a-Lago resort”.
It’s really astonishing if the claim related to nuclear weapons-document is a fact. It’s also astonishing if it’s not a fact, as such a claim related to a former president is being made.
This country is always concerned about nuclear weapons in some other country. But, what about itself – documents related to nuclear weapons can be taken away by a person, be it a president or an ordinary citizen? Where does go the question of security? This happens there in the US.
Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka, Bangladesh.