It is the job of Congress to investigate the violence of January 6

George Patrick Barley Jr.

I write this to dispel misconceptions about the need for a congressional investigation on January 6, 2021.

The Constitution grants Congress the power to enact laws and declare war, the right to confirm or reject many presidential nominations, and substantial investigative powers.

The 1968 equity doctrine is no longer relevant. In June 1987, bipartisan congressional legislation renewed it, and President Ronald Reagan vetoed it. Why didn’t Congress override the veto? They had the votes!

I remember the horrible McCarthy hearings in the 1950s, but the January 6, 2021 hearings are very different; the people who testify today are treated with humanity, courtesy and respect. House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings have ruined lives, destroyed careers and even led to suicides.

I opened the door when the FBI came to my house asking my father, a U.S. Navy veteran and lifelong Republican, to be an informant on colleagues who were suspects under J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI during McCarthy hearings. When my father refused, they left. But his anger was palpable. His colleagues, World War II veterans, all Antifa, all fought the fascism of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. I am proud of my father’s position.

I am an Antifa veteran and served in the United States Navy from 1967 to 1971. I hate authoritarianism, and it is my duty as an American to call on authoritarians to keep our democratic republic free.

In the mid-1960s, the Dixie-Crats left the holidays when President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, signed the Civil Rights Act. After signing, Dixie-Crats then became the backbone of the GOP. The GOPs of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt or Eisenhower have disappeared; some moderate Republicans have become Democrats. After an examination of conscience, I too converted.

Thousands of years ago, America’s native ancestors arrived on foot across a Siberian and Alaskan land bridge. The Vikings rowed in long boats. Other ancestors escaped religious pursuits, poverty, and feudal caste systems. Still others came reluctantly as slaves, most from Africa to be indentured for over 400 years. Still more were coerced after losing in wars, such as the Scots and Irish, who became indentured servants, sometimes openly identified as slaves.

It’s amazing that our founding fathers, almost all of whom were slave owners, fashioned the American Constitution, a document admired around the world, intended to create laws to guide a mixed country. And then they wrote the Bill of Rights, which includes freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition; the right to keep and bear arms in order to maintain a well-regulated militia; no encampment of soldiers; protection against unreasonable searches and seizures; the right to due process, free from self-incrimination and double jeopardy; the rights of defendants to a speedy and public trial; the right to trial by jury in civil cases; freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishment; and competences reserved to States.

Twenty-seven amendments passed by elected men and women were ratified by each state pledging that all men, women, genders, colors, creeds will be treated equally. Our 246-year-old rules of law are amended 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, to ensure that these rights endure.

It is the job of Congress to investigate the violence of January 6, 2021 and to reveal those responsible for creating and planning the insurgency or attempted coup.

US Facts: Biden won 7 million popular votes and Biden won 306-232 state-validated election results that were backed 60-0 by the court system. Congress will oversee presidential elections to ensure a free and duly elected democratic republic and to ensure that America does not become an authoritarian regime like Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan or other oppressed countries.

It would be shameful, illegal, and immoral for Congress not to keep this oath: “Protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

So help me God, that’s why.

George Patrick Barley Jr. is a United States Navy veteran, holds a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University, and has been a lifelong teacher. He lives in Monroe.

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