MEANWHILE Congress had begun its last grapple with Johnson. The House of Representatives impeached him "of high crimes and misdemeanors in office" [ February 24, 1868 ]. For more than a year impeachment had been impending and the Radicals had long been prepared to resort to this extreme remedy. On January 7, 1867 the House adopted a resolution authorizing the Judiciary Committee to inquire into the official conduct of Andrew Johnson and report whether in their opinion he had been guilty of "other high crimes and misdemeanours," which, in addition to treason and bribery, were impeachable offences under the Constitution. Near the close of the session the majority of the committee reported that enough evidence had been found to warrant the continuance of the investigation which was accordingly entrusted to the Judiciary Committee of the new Congress [the Fortieth convening March 4, 1867 ]. Ashley, the mover of the original resolution, hoped to prove that Johnson was implicated in the assassination of Lincoln and a number of other members believed that the power of pardon had been improperly and even corruptly used. The first charge was found out to be absurd and the second too flimsy to build a prosecution on. The committee by five to four decided [ June 1, 1867 ] that there was no ground for impeachment but finally yielding to the persistence of the minority they re-opened the case and the taking of testimony was continued. Upon the President's suspension of Stanton and removal of Sheridan, after Congress had adjourned in July,1 impeachment rang____________________
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Publication information: Book title: History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the McKinley-Bryan Campaign of 1896. Volume: 6. Contributors: James Ford Rhodes - Author. Publisher: Macmillan Company. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1920. Page number: 209.
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