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History of Impeachment in the U.S.


Since 1797, the House of Representatives has impeached fifteen federal officials. These include:
President Andrew Johnson
Impeached by political opponents for firing a cabinet officer from their party in violation of an Act they had recently passed. Johnson was acquited May 26, 1868 by one vote in the Senate; the Act was later overturned as unconstitutional.

Cabinet member, William W. Belknap, Secretary of War
Impeached for accepting bribes, and resigned. He was subsequently acquitted Aug. 1, 1876, apparently because many senators felt they had no jursidiction after his resignation.

Senator William Blount, from Tennessee
Impeached for a prior role he had in plotting to help the British conquer Spanish Florida and Louisiana. The charges were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, Jan. 14, 1799, but he was subsequently expelled by the Senate.

Associate Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Chase
Impeached but acquitted of judicial bias against anti-Federalists March 1, 1805. The acquittal established that political differences were not grounds for impeachment.

and eleven federal judges
seven of whom were convicted and removed from office.



< return to Impeachment -- A Guide




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