Historians remind us that history repeats itself, and following thousands of hours of research while writing my sagas focused on the founding of the United States, it has become clear that similarities from the past do manifest into current events. The current Impeachment Proceedings is a prime example, and regardless of one’s political leanings, I contend that all need to be concerned.
Prior to the American Revolution, British Parliament established Vice-Admiralty Courts in Boston, Philadelphia, Charleston and Nova Scotia. These courts were used to try charges against colonists for “sedation” against the Crown. They were definitely what we might classify as “Kangaroo Courts”. The judges were the jurors, and witnesses against those charged were permitted to offer hearsay evidence, remained unidentified to the defendant and could not be cross examined by the defendant. Because of this, it became imperative to our founding fathers to write into the Constitution (within the Bill of Rights) that hearsay evidence cannot be used to convict and that a defendant has an absolute right to cross examine those who accuse and bring forth testimony against him.
We now have a proceeding against the President within a committee of the House of Representatives where the committee conducts itself much the same as the Vice-Admiralty Courts of the eighteenth century did. During modern history, I contend that only one other time has Congress violated protections afforded by the Constitution as blatantly as is now occurring. After damage was done, members came to their senses and censured Senator Joseph McCarthy. Can we expect history to repeat itself?