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The Constitution of the United States gives the House of Representatives sole power to impeach the President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States by a numerical majority only. It also gives the Senate sole power to try all impeachments. The Senate then sits as a court, organizing anew, Senators taking a special oath or affirmation applicable to the proceeding. From their decision there is no appeal. A vote of two-thirds of the Senate is necessary to convict. When the President is tried the chief-justice presides. The punishment is limited by the Constitution (1) to removal from office; (2) to disqualification from holding and enjoying any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States government. Important cases: (1) William Blount, United States Senator from Tennessee, for conspiring to transfer New Orleans from Spain to Great Britain, 1797-98; acquitted for want of evidence. (2) John Pickering, judge of the district court of New Hampshire, charged with drunkenness, profanity, etc.; convicted March 12, 1803. (3) Judge Samuel Chase, impeached March 30, 1804; acquitted March 1, 1805. (4) James H. Peck, district judge of Missouri, impeached Dec. 13, 1830, for arbitrary conduct, etc.; acquitted. (5) West H. Humphreys, district judge of Tennessee, impeached and convicted for rebellion, Jan. 26, 1862. (6) Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, impeached “of high crimes and misdemeanors,” Feb. 22, 1868; acquitted. (7) W. W. Belknap, Secretary of War, impeached for receiving money of posttraders among the Indians, March 2, 1876; resigned at the same time; acquitted for want of jurisdiction.

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John Pickering (1)
James H. Peck (1)
Andrew Johnson (1)
West H. Humphreys (1)
Samuel Chase (1)
William Blount (1)
William W. Belknap (1)
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