Dear Senator Isakson:
After visiting our nation, G.K. Chesterton in 1922 remarked:
America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed.
That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence;
perhaps the only piece of practical politics that is also theoretical politics and also great literature.
It enunciates that all men are equal in their claim to justice,
that governments exist to give them that justice,
and that their authority is for that reason just.
(What I Saw in America).
In those remarks, Chesterton was praising the beauty, the philosophical integrity, the restorative promise, and the pragmatism of the text that produced our very nation.
As you know, the document which gave America its very breath was crafted purposely and directly to oppose the abuses of a self-indulgent king; a man who had shown himself wholly unconcerned with the needs of the people and wholly unconcerned with fairness.
In highlighting why the king’s conduct was to be proscribed, the founders offered up proof which they “submitted to a candid world”; proof of the king’s sins he had committed against the people:
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
They decried the king’s actions of arming himself with the weapons of the state to merely advance the king’s own will; thereby giving one man’s will absolute supremacy over the will of the people.
They rejected the king and the king’s government as tyranny.
Tyranny, Senator—as you know, tyranny is what our nation was founded to oppose: a government by which the governed find themselves ruled by a king who, armed with the resources of the state, declares himself to be above the law.
A government by which the people find themselves subject to laws by which the king himself does not abide.
A government in which a king neglects the needs of the people to satisfy only his own desires.
This is what America’s founders decried.
And so you see, Senator, the reaction that the people await from our Congress today—in response to what is presently occurring within the executive branch—is of the highest importance.
If the good people in Congress do nothing, then, in essence, America will have found herself back where she began.
Senator, there is no doubt that bipartisan politics allow room for disagreement among our elected representatives: policy positions, the wording of, or passage of bills—these are political matters as to which men on both sides of the aisle are entitled to disagree.
But no member of Congress duly elected under Article I should permit the executive branch to deem itself above the law.
The Congress should solidly refuse even to allow to remain at all unclear the issue of whether the president has complied with our laws; the Congress should firmly refuse to engage in any conduct that would perpetuate or give cover to the office of the president as it relates to his fidelity to the law.
There should, quite simply, be permitted no question in the minds of the American people as to whether the president has abided the law.
No Congressman should allow a U.S. president to deem himself king.
Tyranny, Senator, is was the very thing that gave rise to our nation; tyranny is the very enemy our government was created to oppose.
And the solution to tyranny, our nation’s founders proudly declared, lay in the creation of a new government; a government by the people, for the people:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Senator, we respectfully submit to you that this is what the termination of James Comey is about and why the response of our Congress is of the utmost importance.
We respectfully ask that you support an independent investigation into the executive branch’s dealings with Russia and into the facts underlying John Comey’s termination.
We remain respectfully your constituents.