Oaths of office and Penalties for Violation

Oaths

Oath for President of the United States, United States Constitution Article ll Section 1. 

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

 

Oath of office federal officials are required to take 5 U.S.C. 3331

“An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service….shall take the following oath:  ‘I, AB, 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.”

 

Oath of office for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Constitution of Virginia Article ll Section 7

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all of the duties incumbent on me as: _____________according to the best of my ability; (so help me God).

 What does an oath mean?  Webster’s 1828

A solemn affirmation or declaration, made with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed.

The appeal to God in an Oath, implies that the person imprecates his vengeance and renounces His favor if the declaration is false, or if the declaration is a promise, the person invokes the vengeance of God if he should fail to fulfill it.  A false oath is perjury.

 

Penalties

 

Federal Law Prohibiting Federal Officials

 From Advocating Overthrow of Government

 

Federal law specifically prohibits any individual from accepting or holding any position (including elected office) in the United States Government if he advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government.

 

 5 U.S.C.  7311 (1):

“An Individual may not accept or hold a position in the Government of the United States of the District of Columbia if he (1) advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government…”

 

Federal Criminal Penalty for Violation of Oath of Office

 

Federal criminal law is explicit and direct regarding a violation of oath of office by federal officials which includes all members of Congress. The law requires the removal of the office holder as well a prison term or fine for the offender.

 

18 U.S.C. 1918:

“Whoever violates the provisions of section 7311 of title 5 that an individual may not accept or hold a position in the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia if he (1) advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government and] shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year and a day or both.” [

 

Advocate: To plead in favor of: defend by argument before a tribunal or the public: support or recommend publicly.  Webster’s Third New International Dictionary

Advocate:  To speak in favor of or defend by argument. To support, vindicate, or recommend publicly.  Black’s Law Dictionary

 

Executive Order 10450

In order to instruct investigating federal officials such as the FBI as to what is a violation of the oath of office under 5 U.S.C. 3331 and 5 U.S.C. 7311, Executive Order 10450 was issued to serve as a guideline for determining what actions constituted a criminal violation of the oath of office by federal officials. The order affirms the law of 5 U.S.C. 7311 that is a criminal violation under 18 U.S.C. 1918 for a member of the government, which includes members of Congress, to “advocate the overthrow of our constitutional form of government.”

Executive Order 10450 states (in part): “Whereas the interest of the national security require that all persons privileged to be employed in…the Government shall be reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character, and of complete and unswerving loyalty to the United States… it is hereby ordered as follows:

(a) The investigations conducted pursuant to this order shall be designed to develop information as to whether the employment or retention in employment…of the person being investigated is clearly consistent with the interests of the national security. Such information shall relate, but shall not be limited, to the following:

(4) Advocacy of use of force or violence to overthrow the government of the United States or of the alteration of the form of the government of the United States by unconstitutional means.”

 

 


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