Online Primary Sources for American History: Presidential Impeachment

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 4

“The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United Statesis tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall beconvicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.” U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 3, Clause 6

Trials are carried out under the PROCEDURE AND GUIDELINES FOR IMPEACHMENT TRIALS IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE (1986).

There have been only two impeachments in this country’s history: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. There would have been a third, but Richard Nixon resigned before that process was implemented.

Here are some primary sources for both:

Andrew Johnson

(A good introduction to this trial can be found here at this Senate Historical Office site.)

Broadsides and other ephemera.

Chronicling America. “The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson.” Hundreds of contemporary newspaper accounts.

Congressional Globe. Contains the debates of Congress between 1833 and 1873. It published a special volume containing the documents on this trial. Also printed as a separate volume: Proceedings in the trial of Andrew Johnson, president of the United States, before the United States Senate, on articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives. : With an appendix (1868)

Expulsion of the president / opinion of Hon. Charles Summer of Massachusetts, in the case of the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, president of the United States (1868)

Harper’s Weekly. “The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson” Over two hundred contemporary articles from this important chronicle of the times.

Impeachment investigation : Testimony taken before the Judiciary committee of the House of Representatives in the investigation of the charges against Andrew Johnson. Second session, Thirty-ninth Congress, and first session, Fortieth Congress (1867)

Letters. Mostly between Johnson and Abraham Lincoln.

The life and public services of Andrew Johnson. including his state papers, speeches and addresses. (1866)

Public Papers.

 

Bill Clinton

(A brief overview is here.)

C-SPAN Has selected videos on this topic.

Clinton Impeachment. From The New York Times containing documents, speeches, articles, interviews, etc.

Impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton : the evidentiary record pursuant to S. Res. 16. (24 vols., 1999)

Proceedings of the United States Senate in the impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton (4 vols., 2000)

Public Papers.

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