Déjà vu.

That phrase captures Carter Page’s reaction as he walks through lower Manhattan. The Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse, the Jacob Javits Federal Building, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office all remind the former Trump campaign adviser of various moments in his career—from intern for New York’s now-deceased Democratic U.S. senator to foreign-intelligence source to the victim of fraudulent FBI spying.

What Page finds most eerily familiar is the bookkeeping-entry trial of President Donald Trump, which he observed in person. Page considers the scene in Judge Juan Merchan’s courtroom just the latest episode in the relentless persecution of the former president and his supporters.

This began virtually the day that the real-estate magnate declared his presidential candidacy.

“The [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] abuse/international spy scandal that prominent [Democratic National Committee] operatives and senior officials of the Obama-Biden administration designed to take out President Trump in his first political campaign remains largely unresolved,” Page tells me exclusively. “For more than seven years, we have continued to fight against the corrupt U.S. Department of Justice and the Democrat Party’s operatives who have largely dominated these continued dishonest attacks against President Trump, myself, and so many others.” 

Page recalls “the original witch hunt” that began in 2016. Left-wing pro-Hillary Clinton operatives at the CIA, DOJ, and throughout the Deep State—not least then-FBI officials James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and Peter Strzok—spied on Trump’s campaign, snooped on his advisers, raided their homes, sentenced some to prison, and locked up others.

“Believe it or not, people have families,” Page says. “Think of the impact that this has had on President Trump’s family, Gen. Michael Flynn’s family, my own, and so many others. All of this chaos tore families apart. But on the other hand, it also pulled families together. That’s why I was so very moved to see Eric Trump here to support his father.”

Page waited in line to enter the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building, along with scores of journalists eager to cover New York v. Trump. Page and other citizens sat beside the Fourth Estate and marveled at this unprecedented scenario.

“Although Fox News and a few other conservative media outlets maintain a limited presence in Courtroom 1530, the vast majority of enthusiastic attendees who fill the benches at 100 Centre Street are the same mainstream outlets that pushed the false Russia collusion hoax, from late in the 2016 election through the first three years of the first Trump administration,” Page says. “Just as the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was unsuccessfully used as an early prop to ‘get Trump,’ this court in lower Manhattan is the latest front line in this ongoing assault on American democracy.”

Trump’s defenders have questioned Merchan’s objectivity in this matter, given his political donations to President Joe Biden and a PAC called Stop Republicans, as well as his daughter’s management of a political consultancy that runs digital ads and raises money for Democratic candidates and causes.

Page, however, gives Merchan the benefit of the doubt. He believes that the jurist displayed common decency by excusing Trump to attend his son Barron’s graduation from Palm Beach’s Oxbridge Academy last Friday.

Like most Americans, Page is eager to see whether a jury from Manhattan—which voted 86.4% for Joe Biden—will “Get Trump,” no matter what, or whether District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s crumbling case will make them gag. If so, perhaps through gritted teeth, they just might acquit Trump of these so-far unproven charges.

Either way, Page, a Naval Academy alumnus and foreign-energy expert, understands the moral of this story.

“The main lesson is that we need to start fighting much more strongly,” Page says. “President Trump and each of us other crime victims have certainly learned this the hard way. Equally important, we must be ready to call out the Democrats’ continued election interference campaigns, especially now, as their assault on American democracy has reached new levels with this latest ongoing show trial.”

The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.