But Corker, a Tennessee Republican, says the session is one of a series to examine war making, the use of nuclear weapons, and conducting foreign policy overall.
The hearing comes as the threat of nuclear attack from North Korea remains a serious concern and Trump's critics question his temperament.
"We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, as a decision process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear weapon strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests", Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who sits on the Foreign Relations panel, said in an interview.
In August, the national security adviser, HR McMaster, raised the prospect of a "preventative war", but many observers of the Korean standoff said any conflict was highly likely to quickly escalate into a nuclear exchange.
"Every member of the US military has sworn an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and to obey the officers and the president of the United States as commander and chief appointed over us", Swift warned.
US President Donald Trump has threatened a "devastating" military option and to "totally destroy" North Korea, while North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has warned Washington of "hardline countermeasures" against possible aggression.
Bruce Blair, a former nuclear missile launch officer and a co-founder of Global Zero, an international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons, said that even if a four-star commander of nuclear forces believed a presidential launch order to be illegal, he could not stop it because the order goes to him and to launch crews in the field simultaneously. "The military is obligated to follow legal orders but is not obligated to follow illegal orders", Kehler said, adding that he always made sure he had legal advisers at hand when he was at Strategic Command.
However, Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) didn't think military resistance would be enough assurance.
"This continues a series of hearings to examine these issues and will be the first time since 1976 that this committee or our House counterparts have looked specifically at the authority and process for using U.S. nuclear weapons", Corker, who is from Tennessee, said in his statement. "I think the system is designed to protect the first or second lieutenant, the 23-year-old Air Force officer sitting in a launch control center, from having to make that grave decision".
The committee has until the end of business hours Thursday to submit further questions to the witnesses, with answers expected promptly afterwards. "It's going to be a very robust period of time". Nuclear engagement rules were originally formed to rapidly respond to an overwhelming attack from the Soviet Union. "He doesn't have to call the Congress. He doesn't have to check with the courts".
The president would communicate his decision and transmit his authorization through a device called the nuclear football, a suitcase carried by a military aide. The command would control nuclear forces in a war.
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