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a vote of 27 to 21, thus deciding that the presiding officer had the right to give a casting vote. The witness (Mr. Burleigh, delegate from Dakotah), who had been called to prove declarations of General Thomas, was then asked whether, at an interview between them, General Thomas had said any thing as "to the means by which he intended to obtain, or was directed by the President to obtain, pos session of the War Department." To this question Mr. Stanbery objected, on the ground that any statements made by General Thomas could not be used as evidence against the President. Messrs. Butler and Bingham argued that the testimony was admissible, on the ground that there was, as charged, a conspiracy between the President and General Thomas, and that the acts of one conspirator were binding upon the other; and, also, that in these acts General Thomas was the agent of the President. The Senate, by 39 to 11, decided that the question was admissible. Mr. Burleigh thereupon testified substantially that General Thomas informed him that he had been directed by the President to take possession of the War Department; that he was bound to obey his superior officer; that, if Mr. Stanton objected, he should use force, and if he bolted the doors they would be broken down. The witness was then asked whether he had heard General Thomas make any statement to the clerks of the War Office, to the effect that, when he came into control, he would relax or rescind the rules of Mr. Stanton. To this question objection was made by the counsel of the President on the ground of irrelevancy. The Chief Justice was of opinion that the question was not admissible, but, if any Senator demanded, he would submit to the Senate whether it should be asked. The demand having been made, the Senate, by a vote of 28 to 22, allowed the question to be put, whereupon Mr. Burleigh testified that General Thomas, in his presence, called before him the heads of the divisions, and told them that the rules laid down by Mr. Stanton were arbitrary, and that he should relax themthat he should not hold them strictly to their letters of instruction, but should consider them as gentlemen who would do their dutythat they could come in or go out when they chose. Mr. Burleigh further testified that, subsequently, General Thomas had said to him that the only thing which prevented him from taking possession of the War Department was his arrest by the United States marshal. Other witnesses were called to prove the declarations of General Thomas. Mr. Wilkeson testified that General Thomas said to him that he should demand possession of the War Department, and, in case Mr. Stanton should refuse to give it up, he should call upon General Grant for a sufficient force to enable him to do so, and he did not see how this could be refused. Mr. Karsener, of Delaware, testified that he saw General Thomas at the President's house, told him that Delaware, of which State General Thomas is a citizen, expected him to stand firm; to which General Thomas replied that he was standing firm, that he would not dis
IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT JOHNSON.
appoint his friends, but that, in a few days, he would "kick that fellow out," meaning, as the witness supposed, Mr. Stanton.
Thursday, April 2d.-Various witnesses were introduced to testify to the occurrences when General Thomas demanded possession of the War Department. After this General Emory was called to testify to the transactions which form the ground of the ninth article of impeachment. His testimony was to the effect that the President, on the 22d of February, requested him to call; that, upon so doing, the President asked respecting any changes that had been made in the disposition of the troops around Washington; that he informed the President that no important changes had been made, and that none could be made without an order from General Grant, as provided for in an order founded upon a law sanctioned by the President. The President said that this law was unconstitutional. Emory replied that the President had approved of it, and that it was not the prerogative of the officers of the army to decide upon the constitutionality of a law, and in that opinion he was justified by the opinion of eminent counsel, and thereupon the conversation ended.
The prosecution then endeavored to introduce testimony as to the appointment of Mr. Edmund Cooper, the Private Secretary of the President, as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, in support of the eighth and eleventh articles of impeachment, which charge the President with an unlawful attempt to control the disposition of certain public funds. This testimony, by a vote of 27 to 22, was ruled out.
The prosecution now, in support of the tenth and eleventh articles of impeachment, charging the President with endeavoring to "set aside the rightful authority of Congress," offered a telegraphic dispatch from the President to Mr. Parsons, at that time (January 17, 1867) Provisional Governor of Alabama, of which the following is the essential part:
"I do not believe the people of the whole country will sustain any set of individuals in the attempt to change the whole character of our Government by enabling acts in this way. I believe, on the contrary, that they will eventually uphold all who have patriotism and courage to stand by the Constitution, and who place their confidence in the people. There should be no faltering on the part of those who are honest in their determination to sustain the several coördinate departments of the Government in accordance with its original design."
The introduction of this was objected to by the counsel for the President, but admitted by the Senate, the vote being 27 to 17..
The whole of Friday, and a great part of Saturday, (April 3d and 4th,) were occupied in the examination of the persons who reported the various speeches of the President which form the basis of the tenth article, the result being that the reports were shown to be either substantially or verbally accurate. Then, after
some testimony relating to the forms in which commissions to office were made out, the managers announced that the case for the prosecution was substantially closed. The counsel for the President thereupon asked that three working days should be granted them to prepare for the defense. This, after some discussion, was granted by the Senate by a vote of 37 to 9, and the trial was adjourned to Thursday, April 9th.
The opening speech for the defense, occupying the whole of Thursday, and a part of Friday, was made by Mr. Curtis. Reserving, for a time, a rejoinder to Mr. Butler's argument as to the functions of the Senate when sitting as a Court of Impeachment, Mr. Curtis proceeded to a consideration of the articles of impeachment, in their order, his purpose being "to ascertain, in the first place, what the substantial allegations in each of them are, what is the legal proof and effect of these allegations, and what proof is necessary to be adduced in order to sustain them." The speech is substantially an elaboration of and argument for the points embraced in the answer of the President. The main stress of the argument related to the first article, which, as stated by Mr. Curtis, when stripped of all technical language, amounts exactly to these things:
"First. That the order set out in the article for the removal of Mr. Stanton, if executed, would have been a violation of the Tenure-of-Office Act.
"Second. That it was a violation of the Tenure-of-Office Act. "Third. That it was an intentional violation of the Tenure-ofOffice Act.
"Fourth. That it was in violation of the Constitution of the United States.
"Fifth. That it was intended by the President to be so.
"Or, to draw all these into one sentence, which I hope may be intelligible and clear enough, I suppose the substance of this first article is that the order for the removal of Mr. Stanton was, and was intended to be, a violation of the Constitution of the United States. These are the allegations which it is necessary for the honorable managers to make out in order to support that article."
Mr. Curtis proceeded to argue that the case of Mr. Stanton did not come within the provisions of the Tenure-of-Office Act, being expressly excepted by the proviso that Cabinet officers should hold their places during the term of the President by whom they were appointed, and for one month thereafter, unless removed by the consent of the Senate. Mr. Stanton was appointed by Mr. Lincoln, whose term of office came to an end by his death. He argued at length against the proposition that Mr. Johnson was merely serving out the remainder of Mr. Lincoln's term. The
IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT JOHNSON.
object of this exception, he said, was evident. The Cabinet officers were to be "the immediate confidential assistants of the President, for whose acts he was to be responsible, and in whom he was expected to repose the gravest honor, trust, and confidence; therefore it was that this act has connected the tenure of office of these officers with that of the President by whom they were appointed." Mr. Curtis gave a new interpretation to that clause in the Constitution which prescribes that the President "may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments upon any subject relating to the duties of their several offices." He understood that the word "their" included the President, so that he might call upon Cabinet officers for advice "relating to the duties of the office of these principal officers, or relating to the duties of the President himself." This, at least, he affirmed, had been the practical interpretation put upon this clause from the beginning. To confirm his position as to the intent of the Tenureof-Office Act in this respect, Mr. Curtis quoted from speeches made in both houses at the time when the act was passed. Thus, Senator Sherman said that the act, as passed
"Would not prevent the present President from removing the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, or the Secretary of State; and, if I supposed that either of these gentlemen was so. wanting in manhood, in honor, as to hold his place after the politest intimation from the President of the United States that his services were no longer needed, I certainly, as a Senator, would consent to his removal at any time, and so would we all."
Mr. Curtis proceeded to argue that there was really no removal of Mr. Stanton; he still held his place, and so there was "no case of removal within the statute, and, therefore, no case of violation by removal." But, if the Senate should hold that the order for removal was, in effect, a removal, then, unless the Tenure-of-Office Act gave Mr. Stanton a tenure of office, this removal would not have been contrary to the provisions of this act. He proceeded to argue that there was room for grave doubt whether Mr. Stanton's case came within the provisions of the Tenure-of-Office Act, and that the President, upon due consideration, and having taken the best advice within his power, considering that it did not, and acting accordingly, did not, even if he was mistaken, commit an act "so willful and wrong that it can be justly and properly, and for the purposes of this prosecution, termed a high misdemeanor." He argued at length that the view of the President was the correct one, and that "the Senate had nothing whatever to do with the removal of Mr. Stanton, whether the Senate was in session or not."
Mr. Curtis then went on to urge that the President, being sworn to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, must carry out any law, even though passed over his veto, except in cases where a law which he believed to be unconstitutional has cut off a power confided to him, and in regard to which he alone could make an
issue which would bring the matter before a court, so as to cause "a judicial decision to come between the two branches of the Government, to see which of them is right." This, said he, is what the President has done. This argument, in effect, was an answer to the first eight articles of impeachment.
The ninth article, charging the President with endeavoring to induce General Emory to violate the law by receiving orders directly from him, was very briefly touched upon, it being maintained that, as shown by the evidence, "the reason why the President sent for General Emory was not that he might endeavor to seduce that distinguished officer from his allegiance to the laws and Constitution of his country, but because he wished to obtain information about military movements which might require his personal attention."
As to the tenth article, based upon the President's speeches, it was averred that they were in no way in violation of the Constitution, or of any law existing at the time when they were made, and were not, therefore, impeachable offenses.
The reply to the eleventh article was very brief. The managers had "compounded it of the materials which they had previously worked up into others," and it "contained nothing new that needed notice." Mr. Curtis concluded his speech by saying that
"This trial is and will be the most conspicuous instance that has ever been, or even can be expected to be found, of American justice or of American injustice; of that justice which is the great policy of all civilized States; of that injustice which is certain to be condemned, which makes even the wisest man mad, and which, in the fixed and unalterable order of God's providence, is sure to return and plague the inventor."
At the close of this opening speech for the defense, General Lorenzo Thomas was brought forward as a witness. His testimony, elicited upon examination and cross-examination, was to the effect that, having received the order appointing him Secretary of War ad interim, he presented it to Mr. Stanton, who asked, "Do you wish me to vacate the office at once, or will you give me time to get my private property together?" to which Thomas replied, "Act your pleasure." Afterward Stanton said, "I don't know whether I will obey your instructions." Subsequently Thomas said that he should issue orders as Secretary of War. Stanton said he should not do so, and afterward gave him a written direction, not to issue any order except as Adjutant-General. During the examination of General Thomas a question came up which, in many ways, recurred upon the trial. He was asked to tell what occurred at an interview between himself and the President. Objection was made by Mr. Butler, and the point was argued. The question was submitted to the Senate, which decided, by a vote of 42 to 10, that it was admissible. The testimony of General Thomas, from this point, took a wide range, and, being