Oaths questioned as Trump's backers in Congress fight against loss

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, vowed to honor the oath she took and affirm the results of the presidential election while urging colleagues to do the same. Republican Sen. Todd Young, of Indiana, was seen in a video posted to social media telling Trump supporters outside a Senate office building that he took an oath to the Constitution under God and asked, “Do we still take that seriously in this country?”

Corey Brettschneider, a political science professor at Brown University and author of “The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents,” said the oath must be taken seriously and that Americans have to demand its enforcement or “the risk is to the entire system.” He said he would support censures, a formal statement of disapproval, for officials who clearly violate their oaths.

“The worst that could happen is that people roll their eyes at the oath and they say, ‘Oh, none of them mean it,’ and I think what we’ve got to do at a time of crisis is exactly the opposite — is to say, this does mean something,” Brettschneider said. “When you break the law, you need to be held to account, and that’s what’s really up to the American people to be outraged when Trump does what he’s done.”