Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts officially swore in senators on Thursday for the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, asking all senators to take an oath of impartiality.
“Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God?” reads the oath 99 senators swore, signing their name in a book to make their oath official. One senator was missing from the swearing in: Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe, who was in his home state tending to a sick family member.
By taking that oath, however, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham committed perjury, as both previously said aloud that they do not plan to be impartial at all.
“I’m not an impartial juror,” McConnell declared in December. “This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision.”
Graham made a similar declaration back in December.
“I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind. I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here,” Graham said.
A number of other Republicans have also said that they do not plan to convict Trump.
But not many have been as blatant as McConnell and Graham in openly admitting they have no intention of being impartial or fair, despite the oath requiring them to be.
The definition of perjury is “the voluntary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath.”
So by swearing to be impartial even though they have no plans to be, Richard Painter, a former White House ethics lawyer during President George W. Bush’s administration, said that dozens of Republican senators may have committed perjury.
“We shall see, but a new record may have been set today on January 16, 2020. By swearing an oath to be impartial more senators may have committed perjury on the same day in the same place than on any other day in U.S. history,” Painter tweeted.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
IMAGE: Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr.