The Impeachment Trial
March 25, 1868
Johnson's Impeachment trial lacks justification and reasoning. The purpose behind the trial is not because of Johnson's wrongdoing but instead a ploy for Radical promotion. Johnson's fate as convicted is inevitable.
The Impeachment Trial. Never was there a greater mockery of a trial than that just began of the President in the United States Senate. There is not an iota of evidence against him which affords ground for an impeachment. Yet the impeachment has been accomplished, and none can reasonably doubt that conviction will follow. The movement is, however, not based upon the supposed guilt of Mr. Johnson. It is simply a measure to promote the Radical party interest. The organs of that party in effect avow this in the most unblushing manner. The logic of that besotted body of partisans is that the voice of the people is now the law of the land, and that the Radical party, being the representative of the majority, is the expounder and administrator of their voice and will. Therefore whatever it demanded for the welfare of that party it equally demanded for the welfare of the people. Neither Constitution, law, nor justice, must be regarded-the public will, as understood and enforced by Radicals, must override them all if they, or any of them, stand in the way. It being deemed a matter of expediency to the party to remove Mr. Johnson, he must be removed. His trial is a mere concession to public decency and any national infirmity in the shape of respect for forms that may exist The fate of Mr. Johnson is settled before he is arraigned, and his judges may as well sit with their ears stuffed with cotton, or more properly wool, for the matter of any justice they may mete out to him. Indeed, his case is as hopeless as that of Henry VI. when Richard entered his chamber. The speech of the murderous Richard might well be addressed to Mr. Johnson upon his conviction by the spokesman for the court: " Down, down to hell ! and say" we "sent the thither "We " that have neither pity, love, nor fear."
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“The Impeachment Trial,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed September 20, 2020, http://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/934.