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Remarks on the Johnson Impeachment
Speech of Representative Thaddeus Stevens in Congress,
July 10, 1867 

 

      Mr. STEVENS, of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I do not see why this adjournment should take place unless we are to have a report from this committee of the evidence taken and have it printed and before us so that we may examine it. 

 

    If I understood the chairman of that committee there is nothing now before them which will justify an impeachment, and that they have been six months attempting to find ground for an impeachment. Then, sir, the whole question of impeachment lies in a nutshell. If nothing can be found which sufficiently implicates him to put him on his trial before the country, it is due to him, it is due to this House and to the country that that committee should be discharged and this matter should be abandoned.  
    I do not quite agree, sir, that there is no sympathy with the action of the committee. I think the country almost unanimously believes that there ought to be articles of impeachment reported and acted on; and the only condition on which I shall aggress to vote for adjournment to the time mentioned by the gentleman from Massachusetts is that this committee shall report now, and that that report shall be printed and ready for our action when we do meet. I do not know, sir, whether it would be in order to submit a resolution of this kind directing the committee to report, and that that report shall be printed.

    The SPEAKER. That would have to be done by a separate resolution. It could not be offered to a resolution for adjournment.

    Mr. STEVENS, of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I will say that I am not satisfied. I do not believe the country is satisfied with the course taken in regard to the impeachment. I do not mean thereby to censure or blame anybody, but it seems to me there is an error of judgment as to what is required by law to found an impeachment. I think that ought to be submitted to the tribunal of this House and to the tribunal which is to try it; and if the motion of the gentleman from Massachusetts should prevail, I shall ask leave to test the sense of the House in the question of directing that the committee shall report now. When I say now, I mean at this session; and that the report and the evidence taken shall be printed and ready for our action. As the question now stands I have nothing further to suggest.

 

 

 

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