Socialist Worker

FBI inquiry into Russian involvement in US election piles pressure onto Donald Trump

The crisis for Trump exposes the hypocrisy that runs deep within the US ruling class, says Alistair Farrow

Issue No. 2578

Trumps former campaign manager Paul Manafort in happier times

Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort in happier times (Pic: Disney ABC Television Group/Flickr)


The pressure on racist, sexist US president Donald Trump was growing as Socialist Worker went to press on Tuesday.

An FBI inquiry into potential Russian involvement in the US presidential election campaign has begun ordering people to turn themselves in for questioning.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was ordered to report to federal authorities on Monday. Manafort’s home was raided by inquiry chief Robert Mueller’s team in July.

Manafort has been charged with money laundering, tax fraud and foreign lobbying violations. His business partner Rick Gates was also ordered to turn himself in on Monday.

Manafort and Gates are charged with keeping £56 million from the former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. They allegedly used the money to enrich themselves and lobby for Ukrainian interests in Washington. However, none of their charges relate directly to Russia.

Enter George Papadopoulos, a former Trump foreign policy adviser. By Monday evening he had been indicted and had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his relationship with Russian agents.

His plea agreement indicates that Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on 5 October. The agreement has remained sealed since then in order to maintain his ability to be a “proactive co-operator.”

This raises the possibility he could have been wearing a wire in the White House since then.

Hacked

The plea agreement also reveals that the Trump campaign had knowledge of the hacked Hillary Clinton campaign emails before they became publicly available.

Mueller’s strategy is to obtain confessions from lower level minions and to use their evidence to bring down the big beasts further up the food chain.

The case has exposed the hypocrisy that runs deep within the US ruling class.

Last week news broke that Democrats funded the investigation into Trump which produced the infamous report by former MI5 agent Christopher Steele on Trump’s ties with Russia.

Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had engaged a law firm which paid private investigation firm Fusion GPS to carry out research. This later formed a large part of Steele’s report.

Republican senators have called for John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chair, to be hauled before the inquiry along with Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She was head of the DNC at the time.

“It’s difficult to imagine that a campaign chairman, that the head of the DNC would not know of an expenditure of this magnitude and significance,” said Republican senator Susan Collins.

Republican website The Washington Free Beacon also paid the Fusion GPS to investigate Trump. It stopped shortly before Trump became the official Republican presidential nominee.


Democrat supporters want to go left

The Democrats have twisted and turned to find someone else to blame for their failures after Hillary Clinton’s car crash presidential election campaign.

They have settled on an obvious choice—Trump and his alleged ties to Russia.

Hundreds of thousands of working class people have mobilised against Trump on the streets. They have joined Women’s Marches and anti-racist protests.

But the Democrats want to get rid of Trump through legal manoeuvres rather than appealing to those people.

That would mean moving to the left, something the party’s leadership is desperate to avoid.

Last month Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee chair, purged the committee of left winger Bernie Sanders’ allies.

But this approach is at odds with the attitude of the majority of Democratic supporters.

A Harvard-Harris poll released last month showed that Sanders remains the most popular politician in the US.

It also found that 52 percent of US citizens would like to see “movements within the Democratic Party to take it even further to the left and oppose the current Democratic leaders”.

The case has shown up both the inertia of the Democrats and the rot at the top of US society.


FIGURE IT OUT

  • 53% of Americans have a favourable view of left winger Bernie Sanders—he topped the poll
  • 56% have an unfavourable view of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton—they topped that poll
  • 52% want the Democrats to move further to the left

Anti-fascists take to the streets in Tennessee

Anti-racists and anti-fascists confronted the far right in two Tennessee towns last weekend.

“White Lives Matter” protests were called by a number of groups.

Some were present in Charlottesville for protests earlier this year in which anti-racist Heather Heyer was killed.

The protests in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro were called by the umbrella Nationalist Front organisation.

Its affiliated organisations include the League of the South, Traditionalist Worker Party, National Socialist Movement and Vanguard America.

All of these are listed as “neo-Nazi” or “neo-Confederate” groups by the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

Around 300 racists and fascists turned out in Shelbyville. They were met by hundreds of anti-fascists.

A fascist rally in Murfreesboro was called off after the Sheriff’s department said up to 1,000 counter-protesters came out to oppose it.


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