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The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation

by Brenda Wineapple,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 26, 2019

Once upon a time, a president of the United States branded his political opponents traitors, pardoned his friends, ignored the will of Congress, inflamed racial tensions, and coarsened political discourse. His opponents deemed him vain, vulgar, incompetent, erratic and a danger to democracy. An influential member of the U.S. House of Representatives declared, “If we could succeed in an impeachment, it would be a blessing probably, but it is perfectly evident that with the Senate constituted as it is, we cannot affect an impeachment.” And yet, he warned, impractical politicians “are determined to push the insane scheme of making the attempt and setting the country in a ferment.”

 

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