Andrew Johnson vs. William Clinton The definition of impeachment is the removal of a high ranking official in the United State government. In this case, these high-ranking officials are our own presidents. Andrew Johnson and William Clinton were both impeached on more than one count of the articles of impeachment. They both under went the impeachment process, and both were acquitted.
Who would have known that one hundred and thirty years could pass by and still have the same process working the same as it does today? The process of impeachment initiates when formal charges are brought against a federal official. The House then refers the matter (s) to the House Judiciary Committee. A majority vote is the first step in the process. The Judiciary Committee reviews and may hold hearings and draws up articles of impeachment. They then investigate whether to offer articles of impeachment to the House of Representatives. Each house on each article separately, and each one that passes is send to Senate for trial.
Senate then conducts a trial. If it is the president on trial, the Chief Justice presides and the House members prosecute. The constitution gives the senate "the sole power to try impeachment." Senators hear testimony and seek evidence. They debate the articles. Approval of two-thirds of the Senate vote is required for the official to be removed from office.
Andrew Johnson, our seventeenth president after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, wasn't liked very much to begin with. Many people thought he was part of Lincoln's assassination. Also, he was democrat. Another reason many people didn't like him was because of his reconstruction plans. This disparity led to the weakened power of the presidency.
He enmeshed in many disputes with the Radical Republicans. Johnson fired Edwin M. Stanton, who was sympathetic to the Radical Republicans. The impeachment in 1968 was triggered by Johnson's deliberate violation of the Tenure of Office Act (which states that the president can't fire a person of congress without the consent of the Senate) in which Congress had passed over Johnson's veto.
The House (led by the Radical Republicans) held a debate on charges against Johnson. The House voted one hundred twenty-six to forty-seven on the articles of impeachment. They drafted eleven articles to congress. Johnson didn't attend any of the trials. The outcome of the trial rested on one swing vote, which is offered bribes by both sides. They vote for two days.
Thirty-five republicans vote to impeach, one short of two-thirds. Twelve democrats and seven republicans supported the acquittal. The other 10 articles all lost to one vote also. William Jefferson Clinton was impeached in 1998. The articles of impeachment he was charged for were lying under oath and obstruction of justice.
There were allegations that there was a secret White House affair with President Bill Clinton and a young White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Reports of tape recordings were found where the woman talked about sex and the pressure to lie. This led to the impeachment of Clinton. After three months of hearings, the Judiciary Committee approved four articles of impeachment. Two counts were for perjury (lying under oath), one was for obstruction of justice, and one for the abuse of power.
More than two hundred members of the House speak at the thirteen-hour debate. Chief Justice William Rehnquist opens a televised trial. After realizing how time-consuming this trial has been the Senate the limits testimony to four witnesses. The closing arguments follow. The Senate acquits Clinton, falling very short of the votes needed to convict. The vote results were forty-five democrats and ten republicans voted not guilty.
On the obstruction article, there was a fifty-fifty split vote. In conclusion, these two impeachment trials both ended in an acquittal, and both of the presidents were faced by a basically Republican-controlled Congress. The Republicans were trying to topple over the president that they didn't like. The house managers were picked in the same fashion. The Senate kept the same rules in both trials except in the Clinton trial, the members of the Senate were required to turn their beepers off. Both ended in an acquittal.
There is no doubt that in another one hundred and thirty years time there will be another impeachment trial just like these. References: MaGruder's American Government William A. McClenaghan 2002 web > web > web > web > web > web.