May 26th 1868: President Johnson acquitted

On this day in 1868 President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial ended, finding him not guilty by one vote. Johnson became President in 1865 after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and oversaw the Reconstruction era after the Civil War. The unpopular President was impeached in February by the House of Representatives, with the main charge being that he violated the Tenure of Office Act by removing Edwin Stanton as Secretary of War. Johnson was then put on trial in the Senate, with Chief Justice Salmon Chase presiding, however he was found not guilty. He was one vote short of conviction and thus removal from office. Whilst Congress gave specific reasons for the impeachment, many still consider the affair mostly political. Johnson and Bill Clinton in 1998 are the only Presidents to have been impeached.

05/26/12 at 9:00am
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