Political warfare in Washington escalates to crisis of capitalist rule
12 December 2018
One month after the US midterm elections, the conflict within the state apparatus is reaching a new stage. Within the political establishment, there are increasingly open calls for impeachment and possibly criminal proceedings against Trump, including from top Democrats in the incoming Congress.
On Friday, federal prosecutors filed legal papers in the case of Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, directly accusing Trump of instructing Cohen to pay hush money in the run-up to the 2016 election to two women who claimed he had had extramarital sexual relations with them. The prosecutors identified this as a violation of campaign finance laws, a felony. As the New York Times put it, this was tantamount to naming Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal crime.
On Monday night, the Washington Post published an extraordinary open letter to the Senate signed by 44 former senators—33 Democrats, 10 Republicans and one independent—bearing the headline “The Senate has long stood in defense of democracy—and must again.”
While the letter is vague on specifics, it speaks unambiguously of a crisis threatening the entire political system. “We are entering a dangerous period,” the authors warn, marked by “serious challenges to the rule of law, the Constitution, our governing institutions and our national security.”
Citing the looming release of the Mueller report and the Democratic takeover of the House, it states: “The likely convergence of these two events will occur at a time when simmering regional conflict and global power confrontations continue to threaten our security, our economy and geopolitical stability.”
It continues: “At other critical…