Will Republican Senators Honor Their Impeachment Oaths?

Squire

Active member
Below is an interesting article on the impeachment process in the US Senate.

Senators have two oaths to fulfill; one to uphold the constitution and one to uphold "impartial justice" in the Senate impeachment trial.

It is certainly arguable that Senators who have publicly stated their decision to acquit are in violation of their oath and may have disqualified themselves.

The next three months will be very interesting.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/12/16/how-will-republican-senators-honor-their-impeachment-oaths/
How Will Republican Senators Honor Their Impeachment Oaths?
by Martin LongmanDecember 16, 2019POLITICAL ANIMAL

It’s not often that I cite William Kristol favorably, but he and Jeffrey Tulis have an important piece in The Bulwark. It focuses on an important constitutional requirement of any impeachment trial.

The key to the system working as it should is the understanding that the Senate as a court of impeachment is a different institution than the Senate as usual. When the Senate moves to become an impeachment court, senators take a new oath. At that moment the institution transforms itself.

That’s why, according to Article I, section 3, clause 6 of the Constitution, senators, when sitting on a trial of impeachment, “shall be on Oath or Affirmation.” Of course, when elected to the Senate, all senators swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. But the senators, when sitting as a court, are asked to take an additional oath. It is a juror’s and judge’s oath—not a legislator’s oath.

Rule XXV of the Senate Rules in Impeachment Trials provides the text: “I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of ____, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.”

The exact wording of the oath could be changed, but the oath itself is the Senate’s answer to language of the Constitution itself. I don’t think modern Americans take oaths very seriously compared to our ancestors, but they used to be something people were very reluctant to break.

Mitch McConnell hasn’t taken this oath yet because the trial hasn’t begun, but he has already violated its spirit.

“Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel,” McConnell said. “There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can.”

He added later that “exactly how we go forward I’m going to coordinate with the president’s lawyers, so there won’t be any difference between us on how to do this.”

And then he said that “I’m going to take my cues from the president’s lawyers.”

The reaction was predictable because McConnell cannot now plausibly swear to “do impartial justice.”

Some demanded that Mr. McConnell recuse himself.

“The moment Senator McConnell takes the oath of impartiality required by the Constitution, he will be in violation of that oath,” Representative Val B. Demings, Democrat of Florida, said on Friday.

There’s actually no shortage of Republican senators who have already indicated that they will be biased and partisan jurors. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham have gone so far as to publicly state that they will vote to acquit the president. They made those statements before they even read the House Judiciary Committee’s 568-page report explaining how Trump “betrayed the nation” which was released early Monday morning.

In an effort to create a fairer trial, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has sent a letter to McConnell laying out his requests.

In the letter, Mr. Schumer proposed a trial beginning Jan. 7 that would give each side a fixed amount of time to present its case, and called for four top White House officials who have not previously testified — including Mick Mulvaney, Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff, and John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser — to appear as witnesses.

Mr. Schumer also called for the Senate to subpoena documents that could shed light on the events at the heart of the charges against Mr. Trump: his campaign to enlist Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. And he set forth a specific timetable for each side to present its case, modeled on the one used when President Bill Clinton was tried in 1999. Mr. Clinton’s trial lasted about five weeks.

There’s no way McConnell can agree to these parameters and still maintain “no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.” But, as Kristol and Tulis point out, McConnell isn’t a dictator and a small number of Republican senators can defect and compel the Senate to hold a trial that can pass the smell test.

But this project to undermine the norms of the Senate as a high court of impeachment is not a fait accompli. Mitch McConnell may be the majority leader of the Senate, but senators are not sheep. Or at least if they are, it is only by their own choosing. If three or more Republican senators now join Democrats in insisting that the trial be structured to be the kind of full and fair trial anticipated by the Constitution and by the Senate Rules on Impeachment Trials, they can do a lot to make a fair trial happen.

A small number of responsible Republican senators—probably only three, in fact—could form a constitutional caucus. Or a small bipartisan group of senators could form such a group. They can determine what the outlines of a full and fair trial would look like. Surely this would include some number of witnesses on both sides, not all of whom need have testified in the House.

As the House Democrats debate impeachment this week, they should not forget to hammer home these talking points. The senators will take an oath to deliver impartial justice, and that is only possible if they have a real trial and gather additional facts that have been withheld from the House. If they don’t, they’ll not only violate their oaths but they’ll become accomplices in obstructing Congress, which is one of the two impeachment articles.
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
There was zero impartiality in the House processes run by the Democrats. They would have never done this to a Democratic president.

They will pass the Articles on a purely partisan vote, probably without even getting all Democrats to vote in favor. If impeachment was really necessary for the good of the country, at least some Republicans, if not many, would be joining them.

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) was at least honest when he said that his greatest fear was that if they don't impeach Trump, he'll be reelected.

Already, some Democrats are talking about impeaching President Trump over and over again if the Senate acquits, which it will. For what, I don't know. But that's their plan.

According to the latest Real Clear Politics average of polls, a majority of Americans do not believe the President should be impeached. But, of course, the Democrats are going to do it anyway, otherwise they would look silly after all this effort if they didn't.

And now, laughably, they expect the Senate to respect this process that they have perverted.

There is an important difference between what is legal and what is legitimate. And if the majority in the Senate don't believe the House process was legitimate, they are not obligated to treat it like it was.

Seth
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
Aussie said:
The defence is always ........ what the Dems did. That was then. This is now the Republican show.
"What goes around, comes around."

"If you act like a jerk, you get treated like a jerk."

If the Senate takes a vote and acquits on Day One, I'd be perfectly satisfied with that. (They won't. Just sayin ...)
 

Aussie1

Administrator
SethBullock said:
Aussie said:
The defence is always ........ what the Dems did. That was then. This is now the Republican show.
"What goes around, comes around."

"If you act like a jerk, you get treated like a jerk."

If the Senate takes a vote and acquits on Day One, I'd be perfectly satisfied with that. (They won't. Just sayin ...)
Yep, stuff what is right and what is wrong. He robbed a bank and got away with it, so leave me alone when I rob the same bank. In the USA it is whatever suits me on any given day. Moral bankruptcy. That is so fuqqed, and is a terminal cancer.
 

Squire

Active member
SethBullock said:
Aussie said:
The defence is always ........ what the Dems did. That was then. This is now the Republican show.
"What goes around, comes around."

"If you act like a jerk, you get treated like a jerk."

If the Senate takes a vote and acquits on Day One, I'd be perfectly satisfied with that. (They won't. Just sayin ...)
The Jerk Shop has run out of GOP Lawmakers, they're all rented out.
 

johnsmith

Moderator
Staff member
SethBullock said:
If impeachment was really necessary for the good of the country, at least some Republicans, if not many, would be joining them.
impeachment is not about the good of the country ... any rethuglican will say a rethuglican in office is needed for the good of the counry, a democrat will say a democrat. Impeachment is about following the rules. Thrumpy tried to use his office to get a foreign govt. to investigate his opponents. He should be removed for abusing his position. Claiming the democrats did it too is akin to admitting he broke the rules, but you don't give a crap because he's a rethuglican
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
johnsmith said:
SethBullock said:
If impeachment was really necessary for the good of the country, at least some Republicans, if not many, would be joining them.
impeachment is not about the good of the country ... any rethuglican will say a rethuglican in office is needed for the good of the counry, a democrat will say a democrat. Impeachment is about following the rules. Thrumpy tried to use his office to get a foreign govt. to investigate his opponents. He should be removed for abusing his position. Claiming the democrats did it too is akin to admitting he broke the rules, but you don't give a crap because he's a rethuglican
Nah, politicians, including the ones accusing Trump, break rules all the time.

How we react is a matter of severity, a legitimate response to a severe violation versus a minor one.
 

MilesAway

Bongalong
johnsmith said:
SethBullock said:
If impeachment was really necessary for the good of the country, at least some Republicans, if not many, would be joining them.
impeachment is not about the good of the country ... any rethuglican will say a rethuglican in office is needed for the good of the counry, a democrat will say a democrat. Impeachment is about following the rules. Thrumpy tried to use his office to get a foreign govt. to investigate his opponents. He should be removed for abusing his position. Claiming the democrats did it too is akin to admitting he broke the rules, but you don't give a crap because he's a rethuglican
Aussie just said that it is pointedly exactly not what you just said... :jump :jump

:Hi
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
Bongalong said:
johnsmith said:
SethBullock said:
If impeachment was really necessary for the good of the country, at least some Republicans, if not many, would be joining them.
impeachment is not about the good of the country ... any rethuglican will say a rethuglican in office is needed for the good of the counry, a democrat will say a democrat. Impeachment is about following the rules. Thrumpy tried to use his office to get a foreign govt. to investigate his opponents. He should be removed for abusing his position. Claiming the democrats did it too is akin to admitting he broke the rules, but you don't give a crap because he's a rethuglican
Aussie just said that it is pointedly exactly not what you just said... :jump :jump

:Hi
Thanks for pointing that out, Bong. But I’m fine with that. A debate is more interesting to me than a back-patting echo chamber. :beer :slap :smack :beer
 

MilesAway

Bongalong
SethBullock said:
Bongalong said:
johnsmith said:
SethBullock said:
If impeachment was really necessary for the good of the country, at least some Republicans, if not many, would be joining them.
impeachment is not about the good of the country ... any rethuglican will say a rethuglican in office is needed for the good of the counry, a democrat will say a democrat. Impeachment is about following the rules. Thrumpy tried to use his office to get a foreign govt. to investigate his opponents. He should be removed for abusing his position. Claiming the democrats did it too is akin to admitting he broke the rules, but you don't give a crap because he's a rethuglican
Aussie just said that it is pointedly exactly not what you just said... :jump :jump

:Hi
Thanks for pointing that out, Bong. But I’m fine with that. A debate is more interesting to me than a back-patting echo chamber. :beer :slap :smack :beer
Just don't give Mr slinky, aka, Aussie, you're dick bro and you might be ok this Christmas, lol.

:beer

That's what we all be very careful of: extra lol :tweed

Oh, yeh, watch out for greg and his team of girlfriends aswell while you're at it! 'Cos they're hot hot as bro and you might get caught lol :WTF :Hi :Hi :Hi :Hi :Hi :Hi :Hi :yak yak :zzzz :zzzz :zzzz :zzzz :zzzz :rain :stay
 

johnsmith

Moderator
Staff member
SethBullock said:
johnsmith said:
SethBullock said:
If impeachment was really necessary for the good of the country, at least some Republicans, if not many, would be joining them.
impeachment is not about the good of the country ... any rethuglican will say a rethuglican in office is needed for the good of the counry, a democrat will say a democrat. Impeachment is about following the rules. Thrumpy tried to use his office to get a foreign govt. to investigate his opponents. He should be removed for abusing his position. Claiming the democrats did it too is akin to admitting he broke the rules, but you don't give a crap because he's a rethuglican
Nah, politicians, including the ones accusing Trump, break rules all the time.

How we react is a matter of severity, a legitimate response to a severe violation versus a minor one.
whilst it's true that politicians break rules, it's also a cop out.
 

DreamRyderX

Active member
SethBullock said:
..........There is an important difference between what is legal and what is legitimate. And if the majority in the Senate don't believe the House process was legitimate, they are not obligated to treat it like it was.

Seth
I don't respect the U.S. House of Representatives Impeachment process as legitimate........in order to be legitimate, in my own personal opinion, the Articles of Impeachment must honor the US Constitution, Article II, Section IV, as the American Founding Fathers intended, & the Articles must be passed via a bi-partisan vote. The charges levied in the Articles of Impeachment must consist of highly serious criminal transgressions, important enough to warrant an eminent Officer, as prominent as the President of the United States of America, to be removed from Office ... not a purely & completely one sided partisan vote, based on flimsy at best charges.

As of 2019 the United States Senate Oath of office is as follows:

Source: THE UNITED STATES SENATE
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.
The above is a US Senator's Oath of Office, & as long as he honors that solemn oath, his impartiality as a sort of juror in any political so called "Impeachment Trial" is secondary to his/her obligations to that Oath of Office, for he/she is a Senator, & not a Juror or Judge, & is subject only to his/her own personal beliefs & opinions when their personal decision making impartiality comes into play.......

Bottom line.....oath or none.....the Prosecution in the anticipated political "Impeachment Trial" will never get 67 votes to politically convict & remove President Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, of any political charge made to date........period.



...........................God Bless President Donald John Trump..............God Bless AMERICA



..
 

MilesAway

Bongalong
johnsmith said:
SethBullock said:
johnsmith said:
SethBullock said:
If impeachment was really necessary for the good of the country, at least some Republicans, if not many, would be joining them.
impeachment is not about the good of the country ... any rethuglican will say a rethuglican in office is needed for the good of the counry, a democrat will say a democrat. Impeachment is about following the rules. Thrumpy tried to use his office to get a foreign govt. to investigate his opponents. He should be removed for abusing his position. Claiming the democrats did it too is akin to admitting he broke the rules, but you don't give a crap because he's a rethuglican
Nah, politicians, including the ones accusing Trump, break rules all the time.

How we react is a matter of severity, a legitimate response to a severe violation versus a minor one.
whilst it's true that politicians break rules, it's also a cop out.
What is? :rofl
 

Squire

Active member
DreamRyderX said:
SethBullock said:
..........There is an important difference between what is legal and what is legitimate. And if the majority in the Senate don't believe the House process was legitimate, they are not obligated to treat it like it was.

Seth
I don't respect the U.S. House of Representatives Impeachment process as legitimate........in order to be legitimate, in my own personal opinion, the Articles of Impeachment must honor the US Constitution, Article II, Section IV, as the American Founding Fathers intended, & the Articles must be passed via a bi-partisan vote. The charges levied in the Articles of Impeachment must consist of highly serious criminal transgressions, important enough to warrant an eminent Officer, as prominent as the President of the United States of America, to be removed from Office ... not a purely & completely one sided partisan vote, based on flimsy at best charges.

As of 2019 the United States Senate Oath of office is as follows:

Source: THE UNITED STATES SENATE
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.
The above is a US Senator's Oath of Office, & as long as he honors that solemn oath, his impartiality as a sort of juror in any political so called "Impeachment Trial" is secondary to his/her obligations to that Oath of Office, for he/she is a Senator, & not a Juror or Judge, & is subject only to his/her own personal beliefs & opinions when their personal decision making impartiality comes into play.......

Bottom line.....oath or none.....the Prosecution in the anticipated political "Impeachment Trial" will never get 67 votes to politically convict & remove President Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, of any political charge made to date........period.


...........................God Bless President Donald John Trump..............God Bless AMERICA

..
There is a separate oath for senators in impeachment trials.

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CDOC-99sdoc33/html/CDOC-99sdoc33.htm
... \29\ Ibid., p. 871; this form was agreed to in 1868, but as
reported to the Senate, it provided that the form of the oath was to be
administered to the Presiding Officer and members of the Senate.
Senator Charles Drake of Missouri raises the point that the
Constitution did not require that the Presiding Officer be sworn, only
the Senators, and indeed that the Chief Justice was already sworn to
perform his duties, and that presiding in an impeachment trial was part
of those duties. (March 2, 1868, 40-2, Congressional Globe, pp. 1590-
93.) As a result, the Senate agreed to an amendment striking out the
words ``Presiding Officer'' from the heading providing for the oath. In
spite of this, when the Chief Justice arrived in the Senate for the
trial of Andrew Johnson, he was accompanied by the senior Associate
Justice of the Supreme Court who did administer the oath.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Whereupon the Chief Justice administered the oath to the
Senators individually and in alphabetical order. The oath is
found in Rule XXV.

...

Oaths to Senators

Form of, Given Each Senator:

The form of oath administered to each Senator, as set forth
under Rule XXV, is as follows:
I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that
in all things appertaining to the trial of the
impeachment of ------ ------, now pending, I will do
impartial justice according to the Constitution and
laws: So help me God.

Records Kept of Senators Taking Oaths After Trial Begins:

On March 12, 1936, during the trial of Halsted Ritter, it
was announced that it was the duty of the Journal Clerk to keep
the names of Senators who had taken the oath since Senators
took the oath en bloc and there would be no other record.\167\
...
 
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