By Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1)
An abusive and illegal practice by English courts from the 15th to 17th centuries was so widespread and unfair that protections against it were enshrined in our US Constitution.
This hated and dreaded practice took place in the Starry Chamber.
The creators of the Star Chamber described it as a tool to stamp out corruption and obtain justice for those in English society who were so powerful that no ordinary court would ever find them guilty.
In practice, it has been used to punish political enemies without the constraints of the law or the prying eyes of the public.
Our founding fathers were well aware of the abuses of the English government. They put so much importance on the rights of the individual that they included a Bill of Rights – our first 10 amendments – to protect them.
One of the most important, the 5th Amendment, states that no person should “be deprived of life, liberty or property without due legal process”.
The principles of due process and fairness to the accused are not only enshrined in our Constitution, but in the very nature of our Republic. These are values that are deeply held by all Americans.
Unfortunately, in today’s House of Representatives, the Star-Spangled Chamber is alive and well.
For weeks, secret impeachment proceedings held by Democrats in the Capitol basement deprived President Trump of his due process rights.
Adam Schiff and his cabal of Democrats monopolized the power of the Intelligence Committee, withholding facts, denying the president the right to participate, and expanding the Republican minority party to little more than token rights.
The few Republicans allowed to participate are prohibited by Schiff’s arbitrary rules from detailing to fellow Republicans – or the Americans they represent – what goes on behind closed doors.
Of course, Schiff and his Democratic employees have shown no restraint in breaking their own rules by disclosing handpicked and misleading testimony or outright lies.
I’ve had enough of this Starry Chamber, and I have chosen to fight.
Recently my colleagues and I entered the Capitol basement room where Schiff is holding his secret hearings. We demanded to follow the debates.
Schiff shut them down immediately, even though we only wanted to observe a right required by House rules and normally extended to all members of Congress.
We may not have had a chance to see the hearings, but the American people are starting to see what’s going on. They clearly say they don’t approve. And Democrats have felt the heat at home.
Last week, Democrats tabled a resolution supposedly pushing the formal impeachment process forward in the public eye. In fact, this resolution validates the Star Chamber procedures that we have seen so far and even asks them to continue!
This resolution was just political cover for Democrats. All Republicans in the House saw through Nancy Pelosi’s resolution and voted against it.
Importantly, two Democrats rejected this deeply flawed process by voting with Republicans.
Yet Democrats continue to take a bogus moral stance. They insist that Republicans support the president only because of a “personality cult for Donald Trump.”
Anyone looking at the facts, including the Democrats who jokingly voted against the impeachment resolution, knows this is nonsense.
One only needs to watch five minutes of mainstream national news to see the “cult of the anti-Trump personality.” Trump’s inconvenience syndrome is an epidemic. For those who suffer from it, no step is too far, no rule too sacred, to eliminate President Trump. For them, the end justifies the means.
This Star Chamber fundamentally violates the principles of fairness and due process that Americans hold so dear. It should never be used against Democrats or Republicans.
This scheme is downright anti-American, and I will not stop fighting against it and defending our values.