Listen: President Trump, United States, Donald John Trump discussed on The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg
"Chief Justice of the United States John G Roberts Jr. who'll administer the presidential oath office everyone please stand from NBC news this article too inside. Impeachment Steve Kornacki. Today is Friday January. Third please raise your right hand and repeat after me I Donald John Trump do solemnly swear I donald John trump wipe flab solemnly swear solemnly swear the presidential oath of office article two section. One of the constitution requires that every president elect complete complete at thirty five word oath before taking office that I will faithfully execute faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and I will faithfully fully execute the office of President of the United States the office of President of the United States article two of the Constitution also outlines impeachment impeachment situation. We find ourselves in today as the forty fifth president of the United States. Donald Trump faces potential removal from office. You'll do not uphold in your oath of office. Well I will tell you this I will uphold mind I will vote to impeach Donald Trump. Nobody ever mentions article article then. I have an article to where I have the right to do. Whatever I want does president but I don't even talk about that that's not what our founders owners had nine that's a president king? That's not what we're about here. So what did the founders have in mind and will to the best of my ability. The ability preserve protect and defend Deepak protect and defend deserve protect and the constitution of the United States Irvine protect and defend the constitution of the United States. Constitution of the United States will help you God so help me God today. Article too will explore the oath of the highest office. And what happens when it's tested. Chuck Chuck Rosenberg served as a career. Federal Prosecutor in later as the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He has also served in senior positions at the Department of Justice in the FBI BI and as the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration Chuck is currently in MSNBC contributor. End the host of the PODCAST. The Oath Shock. You've got a resume that puts us all certainly only meat ashamed but welcome. Thank you for being here. I think the only thing that proves Steve is. I can't keep a job okay. Well that's one way of looking at it I guess The theme today a oaths the theme of your podcast. Obviously I'm curious. Every four years we watch the president of the United States. Take the oath of office from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. If if we serve on a jury we maybe we'd been sworn in as a juror. Maybe we've seen a witness sworn in on a in a movie about a courtroom scene we've seen oaths and I think at least again against speaking from my own experience that they often seem very sort of ceremonial formulaic. I I wonder about your experience. You've taken I think ten oaths In in positions of high public trust. What is your experience like being administered one of those oaths and is it something that lingers with you once? It's an office But what are the mean to you. Yeah I I have taken it I think ten times. I've also administered Steve. Perhaps hundreds of times. I'm most recently when I ran the. Da To new special agents to new diversion. Investigators to new intelligence analysts and two chemists And I gotTa tell you it is is a very solemn moment it may seem formulaic But it's not and something that stays with you and stayed with me all of my professional life. I remember number where I took it. I remember who administered it And I remember thinking this is a big deal can you think of one of those Maybe the first time what what that experience was like. Take us back to it very first time. I was a new graduate from the University of Virginia Law School. I had joined the Department of Justice through the attorney. General's Honors Program And with a group of ten or twelve brand new colleagues in a small conference room on the fourth floor at the Department of Justice The Assistant Attorney General At the time Shirley early Peterson swore Sahlin. I'll never forget it but I also remember Taking the oath when I became. US Attorney both in Virginia and Texas. I remember Bob Muller administering the oath to me when I returned to the FBI in two thousand and thirteen is he was just finishing his twelfth year as director. It's like I said a solemn moment and it stays with you. Do the words come to you at at critical moments when you have a decision to make when you face a dilemma. Emma at all are you. Are you thinking back to the words. Well I don't know that I ever sat down and said you know this is tough decision that I have to make. Let me pull out the oath oath and read it again. I mean it's what you really making is a promise to be diligent to be faithful to the constitution and to the rule of law. But I'm hoping for people who are drawn to this type of work that they don't need an oath to remind them of the importance the sanctity of the positions that they hold that this is who and in what they are and the oath is really a way of reaffirming that publicly. So let's talk about the oath in the context of this impeachment drama. The oath the president of the United States. I mentioned every four years January twentieth. We all watch on television. A new president or reelected president puts his hand so far some they'll ib. I be a her hand on. The Bible takes the oath of office from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Talk about the contents of that oath. I think we all know no the words but what do they mean while. Interestingly Steve The oath that the president takes upon assuming office is the only oath in which the Constitution specifies the precise words that have to be used That's not true for the oath. I took it's not true for the oath that members of the House or Senate take only for the president and it's really rather simple. It's three dozen or so words. It's not extensive. It's not detailed. It's not specific. It's very sort of high minded. Its promise to faithfully execute the job and to preserve protect and defend the constitution of the United States. I think by design It's is not specific. We expect a lot from our president's Some of them have lived up to the promise. Some of them have not yet so in this current moment. You've got. The United States has been impeached. Democrats say he has violated his oath of office. It's a broad oath. Does that make it difficult for Democrats to make an argument or for anyone to make an argument about any president that they violated their oath. Sure because it's really not a legal promise as much as a moral I promise That presidents are making when they take that oath and so what may appear to be You know a violation of that oath to one person may not be a violation elation to another these are political judgments that members of Congress will make about this president or other presidents whether he has Committed high crimes crimes or misdemeanors whether he should be removed from office upon trial in the Senate. These are in the end political judgments. What the president promises to do when he takes the growth and what senators are assessing? Now are really much more in the realm of political judgments. We're all very familiar. Obviously with the basic the case that Democrats have made against trump. The idea that he for a period held up aid to Ukraine that the purpose of holding up that aid was was to try to get Ukraine to launch an investigation or at least to announce launching an investigation into Joe Biden. The argument that that is a violation of the oath where is is the violation of the words in the oath there right well it would be arguably that he didn't faithfully execute the laws of the United States that he didn't preserve protect protect and defend the constitution again. It is not necessarily a crime that the house has to prove that the Senate has to judge its conduct conduct now the conduct could be criminal but the founders were reasonably clear at least if when we think about what they were drawing on when they formulated our the constitution and came up with the phrase high crimes or misdemeanors to describe one way in which a president could be removed from office. High crimes and misdemeanors didn't didn't mean criminal conduct per se. It meant public misconduct. And what you just described Steve. What the president did with respect to Ukraine to try to to get it to at least announced an investigation of a political opponent? I think clearly constitutes misconduct.."