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March 4, 1868 The Articles of Impeachment Against Andrew Johnson Read in Senate Reconstruction150

Discussion in 'Post Civil War History, The Reconstruction Period' started by Pat Young, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    repsimpeach.JPG

    Members of the House of Representatives walking as a group to the Senate for the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson March 4, 1868.
    "To deliver the impeachment articles on Wednesday, March 4, the entire body of House Republicans marched in a sober column from their chamber, through the Capitol rotunda, and into the Senate. Leading the column, the seven managers gave no hint of their rocky relations with each other.

    Inside the Senate, Bingham and Boutwell led the procession, arm in arm, followed by Butler and Wilson, then Logan and Williams. Stevens came last, slowly passing down the Senate’s center aisle, no longer carried in his chair but with a friend supporting him on either side. Because of his still fierce visage, because his grip on life seemed so slight, because he remained the soul of the impeachment, the Pennsylvanian took central place in the tableau even without a speaking part."

    From: Stewart, David O.. Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy (Kindle Locations 2618-2622). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.
     
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  3. Pat Young

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    The entry of the members of the House into the Senate began the trial of Andrew Johnson for High Crimes and Misdemeanors. While it would take several weeks for Johnson to reply, this act by the House transferred the scene of impeachment to the Senate.
     
  4. Pat Young

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    According to the Senate proceedings, the following took place when the House members had entered the Senate Chamber:

    In the Senate, on the 4th, the following formal proceedings were had:

    The managers of the impeachment on the part of the House of Representatives appeared at the bar, and their presence was announced by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

    The President pro tempore: The managers of the impeachment will advance within the bar and take the seats provided for them.

    The managers came within the bar and took the seats assigned to them in the area in front of the Vice President's Chair.

    The Speaker of the House of Representatives advanced and took a seat on the right of the President pro tempore of the Senate.

    Mr. Manager Bingham:

    Mr. President, the managers on the part of the House of Representatives, by order of the House, are ready at the bar of the Senate, whenever it may please the Senate to hear them, to present articles of impeachment and in maintenance of the impeachment preferred against Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, by the House of Representatives.
     
  5. Pat Young

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    The Senate was presented the Articles of Impeachment

    The President pro tempore:

    The Sergeant-at-arms will make proclamation.

    The Sergeant-at-arms:

    Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States, articles of impeachment against Andrew Johnson, President of the United States.

    The managers then rose and remained standing, with the exception of Mr. Stevens, who was too feeble to do so, while Mr. Manager Bingham read the articles of impeachment, as follows:

    Articles exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States in the name of themselves and all the people of the United States, against Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, in maintenance and support of their impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors in ofce.

    ARTICLE I.

    That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, on the 21st day of February, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, at Washington, in the District of Columbia, unmindful of the high duties of his office, of his oath of office, and of the requirement of the Constitution that he should take care that the laws be faithfully executed, did unlawfully, and in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States issue an order in writing for the removal of Edwin M. Stanton from the office of Secretary for the Department of War, said Edwin M. Stanton having been theretofore duly appointed and commissioned by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, as such secretary, and said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, on the twelfth day of August in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and during the recess of said Senate, having suspended by his order Edwin M. Stanton from said office, and within twenty days after the first day of the next meeting of said Senate, that is to say, on the twelfth day of December in the year last aforesaid having reported to said Senate such suspension with the evidence and reasons for his action in the case and the name of the person designated to perform the duties of such office temporarily until the next meeting of the Senate, and said Senate thereafterwards, on the thirteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, having duly considered the evidence and reasons reported by said Andrew Johnson for said suspension, and having refused to concur in said suspension, whereby and by force of the provisions of an act entitled "An Act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices," passed March second, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, said Edwin M. Stanton did forthwith resume the functions of his office, whereof the said Andrew Johnson had then and there due notice, and said Edwin M. Stanton, by reason of the premises, on said 21st day of February, being lawfully entitled to hold said office of Secretary for the Department of War, which said order for the removal of said Edwin M. Stanton is in substance as follows, that is to say:

    Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C., Feb. 21, 1868.

    Sir:--By virtue of the power and authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States you are hereby removed from office as Secretary for the Department of War, and your functions as such will terminate upon the receipt of this communication.

    You will transfer to Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas, Adjutant General of the army, who has this day been authorized and empowered to act as Secretary of War ad interim, all records. books, papers, and other public property now in your custody and charge.

    Respectfully yours, Andrew Johnson. To the Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Washington, D. C.

    Which order was unlawfully issued with intent then and there to violate the act entitled "An Act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices," passed March 2d, 1867, and with the further intent contrary to the provisions of said act, in violation thereof, and contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and without the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, the said Senate then and there being in session, to remove said Edwin M. Stanton from the office of Secretary for the Department of War, the said. Edwin M. Stanton being then and there Secretary for the Department of War, and being then and there in the due and lawful execution and discharge of the duties of said office, whereby said Andrew Johnson. President of the United States, did then and there commit and was guilty of a high misdemeanor in office.

    ARTICLE II.

    That on the said twenty-first of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, at Washington, in the District of Columbia, said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office, of his oath of office, and in violation of the Constitution of the United States, and contrary to the provisions of an act entitled "An act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices," passed March second, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, without the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, said Senate then and there being in session, and without authority of law, did, with intent to violate the Constitution of the United States, and the act aforesaid, issue and deliver to one Lorenzo Thomas a letter of authority in substance as follows, that is to say:

    Executive Mansion. Washington, D. C., February 21, 1868.

    Sir:--The Hon. Edwin M. Stanton having been this day removed from office as Secretary for the Department of War, you are hereby authorized and empowered to act as Secretary of War ad interim, and will immediately enter upon the discharge of the duties pertaining to that office.

    Mr. Stanton has been instructed to transfer to you all the records, books, papers, and other public property now in his custody and charge.

    Respectfully yours, Andrew Johnson. To Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas. Adjutant General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

    Then and there being no vacancy in said offce of Secretary for the Department of War, whereby said Andrew Johnson. President of the United States, did then and there commit and was guilty of a high misdemeanor in office.

    ARTICLE III.

    That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, on the twenty-first day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, at Washington, in the District of Columbia, did commit and was guilty of a high misdemeanor in office in this, that, without authority of law, while the Senate of the United States was then and there in session, he did appoint one Lorenzo Thomas to be Secretary for the Department of War ad interim, without the advice and consent of the Senate, and with intent to violate the Constitution of the United States, and no vacancy having happened in said office of Secretary for the Department of War during the recess of the Senate, and no vacancy existing in said office at the time, and which said appointment, so made by said Andrew Johnson, of said Lorenzo Thomas, is in substance as follows, that is to say:

    Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C., Feb. 21, 1868. Sir:--The Hon. Edwin M. Stanton having been this day removed from office as Secretary for the Department of War, you are hereby authorized and empowered to act as Secretary of War ad interim, and will immediately enter upon the discharge of the duties pertaining to that office.

    Mr. Stanton, has been instructed to transfer to you all the records. books, papers, and other public property now in his custody and charge.

    Respectfully yours, Andrew Johnson. To Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas, Adjutant General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C

    ARTICLE IV.

    That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office and of his oath of office, in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States, on the twenty-first day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, at Washington, in the District of Columbia, did unlawfully conspire with one Lorenzo Thomas, and with other persons to the House of Representatives unknown, with intent, by intimidation and threats, unlawfully to hinder and prevent Edwin M. Stanton, then and there the Secretary for the Department of War, duly appointed under the laws of the United Stales, from holding said office of Secretary for the Department of War, contrary to and in violation of the Constitution of the United States, and of the provisions of an act entitled "An act to define and punish certain conspiracies," approved July thirty-first, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, whereby said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, did then and there commit and was guilty of a high crime in office.

    ARTICLE V.

    That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office and of his oath of office. on the twenty-first day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, and on divers other days and times in said year, before the second day of March, in the year, of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, at Washington, in the District of Columbia, did unlawfully conspire with one Lorenzo Thomas, and with other persons to the House of Representatives unknown, to prevent and hinder the execution of an act entitled "An act regulating the tenure of certain civil offces," passed March second, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and in pursuance of said conspiracy, did unlawfully attempt to prevent Edwin M. Stanton, then and there being Secretary for the Department of War, duly appointed and commissioned under the laws of the United States, from holding said office, whereby the said Andrew Johnson, President of the Unite States, did then and there commit and was guilty of a high misdemeanor in office.

    ARTICLE VI.

    That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office and of his oath of office, on the twenty-first day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, at Washington, in the District of Columbia, did unlawfully conspire with one Lorenzo Thomas by force to seize, take and possess the property of the United States in the Department of War, and then and there in the custody and charge of Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary for said Department, contrary to the provisions of an act entitled "An act to define and punish certain conspiracies," approved July thirty-one, eighteen hundred and sixty one, and with intent to violate and disregard an act entitled "An act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices," passed March second, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, whereby said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, did then and there commit a high crime in office.

    ARTICLE VII.

    That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office and of his oath of office, on the twenty-first day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, at Washington. in the District of Columbia, did unlawfully conspire with one Lorenzo Thomas with intent unlawfully to seize, take, and possess the property of the United States in the Department of War, in the custody and charge of Edwin M. Stanton Secretary for said Department, with intent to violate and disregard the act entitled "An act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices" passed March second, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, whereby said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, did then and there commit a high misdemeanor in office.

    ARTICLE VIII.

    That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office and of his oath of office, with intent unlawfully to control the disbursements of the moneys appropriated for the military service and for the Department of War, on the twenty-first day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, at Washington, in the District of Columbia, did unlawfully and contrary to the provisions of an act entitled "An act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices," passed March second, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and in violation of the Constitution of the United States, and without the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, and while the Senate was then and there in session, there being no vacancy in the office of Secretary for the Department of War, and with intent to violate and disregard the act aforesaid, then and there issue and deliver to one Lorenzo Thomas a letter of authority in writing, in substance as follows, that is to say:

    Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C., Feb. 21, 1868.

    Sir:--The Hon. Edwin M. Stanton having been this day removed from office as Secretary for the Department of War, you are hereby authorized and empowered to act as Secretary of War ad interim, and will immediately enter upon the discharge of the duties pertaining to that office.

    Mr. Stanton has been instructed to transfer to you all the records, books, papers, and other public property now in his custody and charge.

    Respectfully yours, Andrew Johnson. To Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas, Adjutant General, United States Army, Washington, D. C.

    Whereby said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, did then and there commit and was guilty of a high misdemeanor in office.

    ARTICLE IX.

    That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States. on the twenty-second day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, at Washington, in the District of Columbia. in disregard of the Constitution, and the laws of the United States duly enacted, as commander-in-chief of the army of the United States, dial bring before himself then and there William H. Emory, a major-general by brevet in the army of the United States, actually in command of the department of Washington and the military forces thereof, and did then and there, as such commander-in-chief, declare to and instruct said Emory that part of a law of the United states, passed March second, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven entitled "An act making appropriations for the support of the army for the year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight and for other purposes," especially the second section thereof, which provides, among other things, that "all orders and instructions relating to military operations. issued by the President or Secretary of War, shall be issued through the General of the army, and, in case of his inability, through the next in rank," was unconstitutional, and in contravention of the commission of said Emory, and which said provision of law had been theretofore duly and legally promulgated by General Orders for the government and direction of the army of the United States, as the said Andrew Johnson then and there well knew. with intent thereby to induce said Emory, in his official capacity as commander of the department of Washington, to violate the provisions of said act, and to take and receive, act upon, and obey such orders as he, the said Andrew Johnson, might make and give, and which should not be issued through the General of the army of the United States, according to the provisions of said act, and with the further intent thereby to enable him, the said Andrew Johnson, to prevent the execution of the act entitled "An act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices," passed March second eighteen hundred and sixty-seven and to unlawfully prevent Edwin M. Stanton then being Secretary for the Department of War, from holding said office and discharging the duties thereof, whereby said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, did then and there commit and was guilty of a high misdemeanor in office.

    And the House of Representatives by protestation saving to themselves the liberty of exhibiting at any time hereafter any further articles, or other accusation or impeachment against the said Andrew Johnson, President or the United States, and also of replying to his answers which he shall wake unto the articles herein preferred against him, and of offering proof to the same, and every part thereof, and to all and every other article, accusation, or impeachment which shall be exhibited by them, as the case shall require, do demand that the said Andrew Johnson may be put to answer the high crimes and misdemeanors in office herein charged against him, and that such proceedings, examinations, trials, and judgments may be thereupon had and given as may be agreeable to law and justice

    ARTICLE X.

    That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office, and the dignity and proprieties thereof, and of the harmony and courtesies which ought to exist and be maintained between the executive and legislative branches of the government of the United States, designing and intending to set aside the rightful authority and powers of Congress, did attempt to bring into disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt and reproach, the Congress of the United States, and the several branches thereof, to impair and destroy the regard and respect of all the good people of the United States for the Congress and legislative powers thereof, (which all officers of the government ought inviolably to preserve and maintain.) and to excite the odium and resentment of all the good people of the United States against Congress and the laws by it duly and constitutionally enacted; and in pursuance of his said design and intent, openly and publicly, and before divers assemblages of the citizens of the United States, convened in divers parts thereof to meet and receive said Andrew Johnson as the Chief Magistrate of the United States, did, on the eighteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, and on divers other days and times, as well before as afterward, make and deliver, with a loud voice, certain intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous harangues, and did therein utter loud threats and bitter menaces. as well against Congress as the laws of the United States duly enacted thereby, amid the cries, jeer, and laughter of the multitudes then assembled and in hearing.

    ARTICLE XI.

    That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office, and of his oath of offce, and in disregard of the Constitution and laws of the United States, did, heretofore, to wit, on the eighteenth day of August, A. D. eighteen hundred and sixty-six, at the City of Washington, and the District of Columbia, by public speech, declare and affirm, in substance, that the thirty-ninth Congress of the United States was not a Congress of the United States authorized by the Constitution to exercise legislative power under the same. but, on the contrary, was a Congress of only part of the States, thereby denying, and intending to deny, that the legislation of said Congress was valid or obligatory upon him, the said Andrew Johnson, except in so far as he saw fit to approve the same, and also thereby denying, and intending to deny, the power of the said thirty-ninth Congress to .propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States; and, in pursuance of said declaration, the said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, afterwards, to-wit, on the twenty first day of February, A. D. eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, at the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia, did, unlawfully, and in disregard of the requirements of the Constitution that he should take care that the laws be faithfully executed, attempt to prevent the execution of an act entitled "An act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices," passed March second, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, by unlawfully devising and contriving, and attempting to devise and contrive means by which he should prevent Edwin M. Stanton from forthwith resuming the functions of the office of Secretary for the Department of War, notwithstanding the refusal of the Senate to concur in the suspension theretofore made by said Andrew Johnson of said Edwin M. Stanton from said office of Secretary for the Department of War; and, also, by further unlawfully devising and contriving, and attempting to devise and contrive means, then and there, to prevent the execution of an act entitled "An act making appropriations for the support of the army for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, and for other purposes," approved March second, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven; and also, to prevent the execution of an act entitled "An act to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel States," passed March second, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, whereby the said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, did then, to wit, on the twentyfirst day of February, A. D. eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, at the city of Washington, commit, and was guilty of, a high misdemeanor in office.

    Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Attest: Edward McPherson, Clerk of the House of Representatives.

    At the conclusion of the reading of the Articles of Impeachment, the President of the Senate responded that "the Senate will take order upon the subject of impeachment, of which proper notice will be given to the House of Representatives."

    In addition to the Speaker and Managers, a large number of the members of the House of Representatives were present to witness the extraordinary and impressive proceedings, and at its close all withdrew and the Senate resumed the routine business of the day's session.
     
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  6. Pat Young

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    Anyone have any comments on the articles of impeachment?
     
  7. Pat Young

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    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    Harpers Weekly published a front page illustration with the portraits of the House managers appointed to run the prosecution.

    housemanagers.JPG
     
  9. Pat Young

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    Harpers

    examination.JPG
     
  10. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    I like this illustration of reporters racing for the wires to be the first to transmit news of the impeachment vote in the House.

    race.JPG
     
  11. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

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    The Tenure of Office Act seems a bit sketchy to me. But so does Johnson generally.
     
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  12. Andersonh1

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    Looks like a "throw everything we can think of at the wall and see what sticks" type of list to me. Maybe they weren't sure that violating the Tenure of Office Act would be enough, so they hedged their bets and thought if they couldn't get him on everything, surely they could get him on something.
     
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  13. Pat Young

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    That and the fact that they were written by a lot of different folks.
     
  14. Pat Young

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    One problem the lawyers defending Johnson had was that the president could not shut up.
     
  15. uaskme

    uaskme First Sergeant

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    Republicans not respecting the results of an Election. Their Own Election! Isn’t that what they accused the South of doing in 60?
     
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    " The president’s lawyers also needed to get control over their client. Johnson could damage his own case more than anyone else could. Every public statement and action posed risks, and the headstrong Johnson had a long track record of unwise public utterances. For a defense lawyer, few terrors rival those posed by a client who likes to swap stories with newspaper reporters into the night. Sure enough, on the evening of March 9 the president unburdened himself to a favored reporter from the Democratic New York World. Insisting that he was unfazed by the impeachment effort and labeling Stanton “a marplot in this administration,” Johnson unveiled a detailed defense that included precedents from the days of John Adams. He noted bitterly that he was facing trial in the Senate, but former Confederate President Jefferson Davis still had not been tried for treason. On the very next day, Stanberry made his first demand on his client. The newspaper interviews had to stop. Those conversations, the lawyer they had to master the legal arguments surrounding impeachment and to anticipate the prosecution’s factual presentation. Fortunately for them, the managers announced most of their strategies through the newspapers, so there would be few surprises at trial. The president’s lawyers also needed to get control over their client. Johnson could damage his own case more than anyone else could. Every public statement and action posed risks, and the headstrong Johnson had a long track record of unwise public utterances. For a defense lawyer, few terrors rival those posed by a client who likes to swap stories with newspaper reporters into the night. Sure enough, on the evening of March 9 the president unburdened himself to a favored reporter from the Democratic New York World. Insisting that he was unfazed by the impeachment effort and labeling Stanton “a marplot in this administration,” Johnson unveiled a detailed defense that included precedents from the days of John Adams. He noted bitterly that he was facing trial in the Senate, but former Confederate President Jefferson Davis still had not been tried for treason. On the very next day, Stanberry made his first demand on his client. The newspaper interviews had to stop. Those conversations, the lawyer insisted, “injure your case and embarrass your counsel.” Taken aback, Johnson attempted an apology. No one in the room supported him. All had gnashed their teeth over the president’s nocturnal conversations with the press. One Cabinet member called them “unaccountable and inexcusable.” -From Impeached by David Stewart
     
  17. Pat Young

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    The election of 1864?
     
  18. uaskme

    uaskme First Sergeant

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    Lincoln was elected in 1860. When Lower South Seceded, Republicans said they didn’t Respect the National Election.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  19. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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  20. Pat Young

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    Everything about impeachment was novel:

    Equally challenging was how to frame Chief Justice Chase’s role at the trial. The Constitution directs that the chief justice shall preside over a presidential impeachment trial, but offers no further enlightenment on the subject. What were his powers? Could he admit or exclude evidence, as a judge would in court? The Senate ordinarily governs itself and Chase was a stranger there. What if there were a tie vote on a procedural point?
    Stewart, David O.. Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy (Kindle Locations 2826-2829). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.
     
  21. Pat Young

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    On March 4, the Senate spent three hours debating whether Ben Wade should be able to vote on impeachment. At the time, the president pro tem of the Senate was first in line of succession if the president was removed. Republicans countered that David Patterson of Tenn. might also be ineligible to vote because he was married to the president's daughter.
     

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