House Judiciary Dems Refuse to Administer the Oral Oath to Witnesses: 'It's Totally Unnecessary' | NTK Network House Judiciary Dems Refuse to Administer the Oral Oath to Witnesses: ‘It’s Totally Unnecessary’

House Judiciary Dems Refuse to Administer the Oral Oath to Witnesses: ‘It’s Totally Unnecessary’

"I noticed that we're not going to administer the oral oath before their testimony..."

By NTK Staff | 03.27.2019 @5:28pm

House Democrats on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Justice refused to administer an oral oath when swearing in witnesses appearing before the committee on Wednesday, with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) calling it “totally unnecessary.”

Cohen had finished introducing the witness appearing before the committee when Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) asked for a point of parliamentary inquiry.

“I noticed that we’re not going to administer the oral oath before their testimony?” Johnson asked.

“That’s exactly right,” Cohen responded.

Johnson followed up by asking if this was because the Democrats on the committee did not want to include the phrase, “so help me God,” at the end of the oath.

“No, it’s because it’s totally unnecessary,” Cohen said. “Statutes say that witnesses are subject to perjury or penalty if they lie to the committee or tell a falsehood. So, why have them stand up and swear to something that they are bound to?”

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, interjected, saying that swearing in witness is only relevant when talking about facts, not when witnesses are giving their opinions, which they intended to do during Wednesday’s hearing.

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