Impeachment Trial

April 18, 1868


The impeachment trial is a bit disorganized. President Johnson works to defend himself against his opponents such as Butler.


IMPEACHMENT TRIAL. SECRETARY WELLES ON THE STAND. The Cabinet Unanimous Against the Tenure-of-Office Bill. STANTON ONCE DETAILED TO VETO IT. THE FINAL RESULT, &c., See. Washington, April 17.-The House went into the Impeachment Court without doing any business. The Court is ordered to meet hereafter at 11 o'clock. Attached to Butler's speech in the Globe are the Treasury tabular statements. The Court ordered them to be stricken out. Butler wanted to explain, but the Court would not listen. The evidence regarding the President's western speeches was commenced. Second Dispatch. Washington, April 17.-John W. Anthony, of Cleveland, testified that most of the President's speech there was in response to interruptions. A large majority of the crowd were disorderly. Barton Abel, of St. Louis, testified that the President's speech there was delivered at the earnest solicitation of citizens. Others testified about the western speeches, but nothing new was elicited. Frederick W. Seward testified regarding the routine of appointing certain officers. More documentary evidence regarding removals was presented and admitted. Secretary of the Navy Welles was called.- He testified that he was appointed in 1861 by President Lincoln. His son reported to him having been to a party where orders from General Emory were received that all officers present should repair to headquarters. He directed his son to inform the President of this, and next day himself informed the President. Question.-What passed between you and the President ? Objection was made. Judge Chase decided to hear the answer. Answer.-The President said he didn't know what Emory meant, and would send for him. At the Cabinet meeting on the same day the President mentioned Stanton's removal and Thomas's appointment, and that Stanton had yielded, only requiring time to remove his papers. A long argument ensued on the admissibility of this evidence. Judge Chase decided the evidence undoubtedly admissible. Butler appealed, and Chase was sustained-26 to 23. Witness went on to say that he saw the nomination of Mr. Ewing to the War Office in the hands of the President. The defence asked questions regarding the Cabinet discussions on the tenure-of-office bill intended to prove that the Cabinet unanimously objected to it on account of its unconstitutionality, and that Seward and Stanton were assigned to the duty of preparing a veto message for it. Objection was made. Butler opened at length, and Evarts followed; and the court then adjourned. THE DEFERRED ARGUMENT. The argument on this point will be continued to-morrow. It is regarded as very important, in view of the sources of information from which the President derived his ideas of duty under the Constitution and laws to the country and to himself, and fixing, to a great extent, the criminality or virtue of the President's action. Conkling, of New York, voted to-day on the liberal side for the first time on any important issue. THE FINAL RESULT. The result is daily becoming more doubtful to the minds of those who watch events most closely. Senators named as doubtful give no indications to hang a hope or fear upon. The Indiana senators vote almost always with the Liberals, but so does Sumner, whose final vote is regarded as certain for conviction. Mr. Stanbery is still indisposed.
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Mallory Haskins




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