An Important Bill in Regard to Impeachment

January 30, 1868


The procedure of Johnson's impeachment trial is organized. Once the trial begins a maximum of five "Managers" will be appointed to oversee the trial.


An Important Bill in Regard to Impeachment. Senator Edmundson Tuesday introduced a bill regulating procedure in cases of impeachment; which preferred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The bill provides that whenever the House shall have agreed upon articles of impeachment it shall appoint, in such manner as it may direct Managers, not exceeding five in number, to conduct and maintain the impeachment; and upon the Senate being informed by the House that articles of impeachment against any person shall have been agreed upon and managers appointed, the Senate shall, at 12 o'clock noon of the day (Sun day excepted) following such presentation, or sooner, if so ordered by the Senate resolve itself into a high court of impeachment for proceeding thereon. A quorum of the Senate shall constitute a quorum of the court, and shall continue the session from day to day (Sundays excepted) until final judgment shall be rendered. The Chief Justice shall preside whenever the President or Vice-President of the United States shall be on trial under articles of impeachment; but said Chief Justice shall have no vote in the proceedings The presiding officer of said high court shall have power to make and issue by himself or by the Secretary of the Senate, all orders, mandates, writs, and precepts, authorized by this act or by the said court, and to make and enfold such other regulations and orders as the Senate may direct not inconsistent with this act. Power is also given for summoning and compelling the attendance of witnesses, and the presiding officer may, by the direction of said court, require the aid and assistance of any officer or person in the military, naval, or civil service of the United States to enforce and into effect the orders, declarations, mandates, precepts, and judgments of said court, and it shall be the duty of every such officer and person, upon such requirement, forthwith to obey the same and of every such person, or officer, in the military or naval service of the United States, upon such requirement forthwith to employ the troops and forces in his command to enforce, execute, and carry into effect the aforesaid order, declarations, mandates, precepts, and judgments of said high court of impeachment. Any disobedience to orders, precepts, &c., on the part of persons above referred to is made punishable by fine and imprisonment. Provision is also made, in case of the impeachment of the President or Vice President of the United States, for suspending said officers from the exercise of their official functions pending trial, upon the order of two-thirds of the members of said high court: and the officers so suspended by order of said court shall be deemed and taken to be to all intents and purposes in a state of inability to discharge the powers and duties of the respective offices during the continuance of any such order of suspension, and no person in the service of the Government shall recognize or obey any official act of the officer so suspended until such suspension shall be removed, &c. During the continuance of such suspension the powers and duties of the officer so suspended shall devolve upon the person authorized or designated by law to discharge or exercise the same in case of removal, resignation, death, or disability to discharge the duties thereof.
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Mallory Haskins




“An Important Bill in Regard to Impeachment,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 18, 2022,