MSNBC hosts Nicolle Wallace and Brian Williams watched as Chief Justice John Roberts entered the U.S. Capitol for the solemn moment to preside over the impeachment of a president for the third time in history.
Senators will be required to take an oath pledging that they will be independent and remain impartial until the evidence is heard.
“I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeaching of President Donald John Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws. So help me God,” the oath mandates. Senators, however, aren’t required to hold their hand over the Bible when they take the oath. There is no consequence for lying under that oath or breaching the oath. It is unlike other impeachment proceeding rules, however, one of which says that if a member does not remain quiet they will be arrested.
“To the question Claire McCaskill was asking, to the talking point from Nicolle: what is the chance that a Lindsey Graham, who has told us and the world how he is going to rule already on this case, will be perhaps swayed, informed by the moment of raising his right hand to take an oath, separate and apart of the oath he took to represent the people of South Carolina, and perhaps go into this with a more open mind than he first planned on?” Williams asked Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
The senator replied that it is a moment for patriots not partisans and he hopes the patriots will step forward in this case.
Former Republican Party chair Michael Steele also challenged Republicans Graham and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who already announced they’d decided on their verdict before hearing the evidence.
“Take your behind out of the chamber when it is time to swear in, because you will be lying to the American people,” Steele chided. “You already told us you plan not to be an honest juror. So, this is almost a joke in the sense that you have some of these senators walking into this room, standing in front of the country, standing in front of the chief justice of the United States, raising their damn hand to swear an oath that they know they’re not going to defend nor uphold.”
He went on to ask what it signals to the American people and what it says about Republicans and their value for the rule of law.
Watch the full clip below:
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