At the start of each new Congress, in January of every odd-numbered year, the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate performs a solemn constitutional rite … taking the oath of office. While the oath-taking dates back to the First Congress in 1789, the current oath is a product of the 1860s, drafted by Civil War-era members of Congress intent on ensnaring traitors.
Here is the oath every current sitting member of Congress has taken:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
It is safe to say our Republic has reached a point in history perhaps not seen since the days of the Civil War. An existential moment, if you will. The possibility exists that we have an illegitimate president; one installed into power through the efforts and interference of a foreign enemy into our national election. Worse yet, the possibility exists of coordination between the Trump campaign and that foreign enemy!
The firing of FBI Director James Comey, while he was in the midst of a counter-intelligence investigation into whether Trump and his associates colluded with Russia to influence our 2016 presidential election, is nothing short of terrifying. It is a blatant attempt by Trump to thwart an investigation that was perhaps getting too close to home for him and his gang of Russian sycophants.
While nearly all congressional Democrats have voiced concern over this overt abuse of power (many are labeling Trump’s action obstruction of justice) and calling for the creation of an independent commission to investigate the matter, the leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, believes this to be unnecessary.
Congressional Republicans, while saying they are “uncomfortable” with Trump’s move, are nevertheless giving Trump a pass on his dictatorial power grab.
It is not only Senate Majority leader McConnell, but also the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr (R-N.C.), tasked with investigating the Trump/Russia connection, who has forcefully rejected calls for an independent prosecutor or commission.
It is way past time for Republicans in Congress to live up to the solemn oath they’ve taken. “People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.”-Richard Nixon
History will not be kind on those “party-first” Republicans who made a mockery of their sacred oath by burying their heads in the sand.
Photo | kentucky.com/LexingtonHearld-Leader