The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
Rules of Impeachment:  I - XXV

back to the Andrew Johnson Home Page


to Oath taken to Amendments to Rules of Impeachment

back to top page for this section

 

Friday, March 6, 1868

The United States vs. Andrew Johnson, President.

To accord with the conviction of the Chief Justice that the court should adopt its own rules, those adopted on March 2 by the Senate sitting in its legislative capacity were readopted by the Senate sitting as a court of impeachment. The rules are as follows:

Rules of Procedure and Practice in the Senate when sitting on the Trial of Impeachments.


Rule I. Whensoever the Senate shall receive notice from the House of Representatives that managers are appointed on their part to conduct an impeachment against any person, and are directed to carry articles of impeachment to the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate shall immediately inform the House of Representatives that the Senate is ready to receive the managers for the purpose of exhibiting such articles of impeachment agreeably to said notice.
 
Rule II. When the managers of an impeachment shall be introduced at the bar of the Senate and shall signify that they are ready to exhibit articles of impeachment against any person, the Presiding Officer of the Senate shall direct the Sergeant-at-Arms to make proclamation, who shall, after making proclamation, repeat the following words, viz:

All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States articles of impeachment against ______ ________.

after which the articles shall be exhibited; and then the Presiding Officer of the Senate shall inform the managers that the Senate will take proper order on the subject of the impeachment, of which due notice shall be given to the House of Representatives.

 
Rule III. Upon such articles being presented to the Senate, the Senate shall, at 1 o’clock afternoon of the day (Sunday excepted) following such presentation, or sooner if so ordered by the Senate, proceed to the consideration of such articles, and shall continue in session from day to day (Sundays excepted) after the trial shall commence (unless otherwise ordered by the Senate) until final judgment shall be rendered, and so much longer as may in its judgment be needful. Before proceeding to the consideration of the articles of impeachment the Presiding Officer shall administer the oath hereinafter provided to the members of the Senate then present, and to the other members of the Senate as they shall appear, whose duty it shall be to take the same.
 
Rule IV. When the President of the United States, or the Vice-President of the United States upon whom the powers and duties of the office of President shall have devolved, shall be impeached, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States shall preside; and in a case requiring the said Chief Justice to preside notice shall be given to him by the Presiding Officer of the Senate of the time and place fixed for the consideration of the articles of impeachment as aforesaid, with a request to attend; and the said Chief Justice shall preside over the Senate during the consideration of said articles and upon the trial of the person impeached therein.
 
Rule V. The Presiding Officer shall have power to make and issue, by himself or by the Secretary of the Senate, all orders, mandates, writs, and precepts authorized by these rules or by the Senate, and to make and enforce such other regulations and orders in the premises as the Senate may authorize or provide.
 
Rule VI. The Senate shall have power to compel the attendance of witnesses, to enforce obedience to its order, mandates, writs, precepts, and judgments, to preserve order, and to punish in a summary way contempts of and disobedience to its authority, orders, mandates, writs, precepts, or judgments, and to make all lawful orders, rules, and regulations which it may deem essential or conducive to the ends of justice; and the Sergeant-at-Arms, under the direction of the Senate, may employ such aid and assistance as may be necessary to enforce, execute, and carry into effect the lawful orders, mandates, writs, and precepts of the Senate.
 
Rule VII. The Presiding Officer of the Senate shall direct all necessary preparations in the Senate Chamber, and the presiding officer upon the trial shall direct all the forms of proceeding while the Senate are sitting for the purpose of trying an impeachment and all forms during the trial not otherwise specially provided for. The presiding officer may, in the first instance, submit to the Senate, without a division, all questions of evidence and incidental questions; but the same shall, on the demand of one-fifth of the members present, be decided by yeas and nays.
 
Rule VIII. Upon the presentation of articles of impeachment and the organization of the Senate as hereinbefore provided, a writ of summons shall issue to the accused, reciting said articles and notifying him to appear before the Senate upon a day and at a place to be fixed by the Senate, and named in such writ, and file his answer to said articles of impeachment, and to stand to and abide the orders and judgments of the Senate thereon, which writ shall be served by such officer or person as shall be named in the precept thereof such number of days prior to the day fixed for such appearance as shall be named in such precept, either by the delivery of an attested copy thereof to the person accused or, if that can not conveniently be done, by leaving such copy at the last known place of abode of such person or at his usual place of business, in some conspicuous place therein; or, if such service shall be, in the judgment of the Senate, impracticable, notice to the accused to appear shall be given in such other manner, by publication or otherwise, as shall be deemed just; and if the writ aforesaid shall fail of service in the manner aforesaid, the proceedings shall not thereby abate, but further service may be made in such manner as the Senate shall direct. If the accused, after service, shall fail to appear, either in person or by attorney, on the day so fixed therefor as aforesaid, or, appearing, shall fail to file his answer to such articles of impeachment, the trial shall proceed, nevertheless, as upon a plea of not guilty. If a plea of guilty shall be entered, judgment may be entered thereon without further proceedings.
 
Rule IX. At 12 o’clock and 30 minutes afternoon of the day appointed for the return of the summons against the person impeached the legislative and executive business of the Senate shall be suspended and the Secretary of the Senate shall administer an oath to the returning officer in the form following, viz:

I, _____ _____, do solemnly swear that the return made by me upon the process issued on the ____ day of _____ by the Senate of the United States against _____ _____ is truly made, and that I have performed such service as herein described. So help me God.

which oath shall be entered at large on the records.

 
Rule X. The person impeached shall then be called to appear and answer the articles of impeachment against him. If he appear, or any person for him, the appearance shall be recorded, stating particularly if by himself or by agent or attorney, naming the person appearing and the capacity in which he appears. If he do not appear, either personally or by agent or attorney, the same shall be recorded.
 
Rule XI. At 12 o’clock and 30 minutes afternoon of the day appointed for the trial of an impeachment the legislative and executive business of the Senate shall be suspended and the Secretary shall give notice to the House of Representatives that the Senate is ready to proceed upon the impeachment of _____ _____, in the Senate Chamber, which chamber is prepared with accommodations for the reception of the House of Representatives.
 
Rule XII. The hour of the day at which the Senate shall sit upon the trial of an impeachment shall be (unless otherwise ordered) 12 o’clock m., and when the hour for such sitting shall arrive the Presiding Officer of the Senate shall so announce; and thereupon the presiding officer upon such trial shall cause proclamation to be made, and the business of the trial shall proceed. The adjournment of the Senate sitting in said trial shall not operate as an adjournment of the Senate, but on such adjournment the Senate shall resume the consideration of its legislative and executive business.
 
Rule XIII. The Secretary of the Senate shall record the proceedings in cases of impeachment as in the case of legislative proceedings, and the same shall be reported in the same manner as the legislative proceedings of the Senate.
 
Rule XIV. Counsel for the parties shall be admitted to appear and be heard upon an impeachment.
 
Rule XV. All motions made by the parties or their counsel shall be addressed to the presiding officer, and if he or any Senator shall require it they shall be committed to writing and read at the Secretary’s table.
 
Rule XVI. Witnesses shall be examined by one person on behalf of the party producing them and then cross-examined by one person on the other side.
 
Rule XVII. If a Senator is called as a witness, he shall be sworn and give his testimony standing in his place.
 
Rule XVIII. If a Senator wishes a question to be put to a witness, or to offer a motion or order (except a motion to adjourn), it shall be reduced to writing and put by the presiding officer.
 
Rule XIX. At all times while the Senate is sitting upon the trial of an impeachment the doors of the Senate shall be kept open, unless the Senate shall direct the doors to be closed while deliberating upon its decisions.
 
Rule XX. All preliminary or interlocutory questions and all motions shall be argued for not exceeding one hour on each side, unless the Senate shall by order extend the time.
 
Rule XXI. The case on each side shall be opened by one person. The final arguments on the merits may be made by two persons on each side (unless otherwise ordered by the Senate, upon application for that purpose), and the argument shall be opened and closed on the part of the House of Representatives.
 
Rule XXII. On the final question whether the impeachment is sustained the yeas and nays shall be taken on each article of impeachment separately, and if the impeachment shall not, upon any of the articles presented, be sustained by the votes of two-thirds of the members present a judgment of acquittal shall be entered; but if the person accused in such articles of impeachment shall be convicted upon any of said articles by the votes of two-thirds of the members present the Senate shall proceed to pronounce judgment, and a certified copy of such judgment shall be deposited in the office of the Secretary of State.
 
Rule XXIII. All the orders and decisions shall be made and had by yeas and nays, which shall be entered on the record, and without debate, except when the doors shall be closed for deliberation, and in that case no member shall speak more than once on one question, and for no more than ten minutes on an interlocutory question, and for not more than fifteen minutes on the final question, unless by consent of the Senate, to be had without debate; but a motion to adjourn may be decided without the yeas and nays, unless they be demanded by one-fifth of the members present.
 
Rule XXIV. Witnesses shall be sworn in the following form, viz:

You, _____ _____, do swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that the evidence you shall give in the case now depending between the United States and _____ _____ shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help you God.

which oath shall be administered by the Secretary or any other duly authorized person.

Form of subpoena to be issued on the application of the managers of the impeachment, or of the party impeached, or of his counsel:

To _____ _____, greeting:

You and each of you are hereby commanded to appear before the Senate of the United States on the _____day of _____, at the Senate Chamber, in the city of Washington, then and there to testify your knowledge in the cause which is before the Senate in which the House of Representatives have impeached _____ _____.

Fail not.

Witness _____ _____, and Presiding Officer of the Senate, at the city of Washington, this _____day of _____, A. D. _____, and of the Independence of the United States the _____.

Form of direction for the service of said subpoena:

The Senate of the United States to _____ _____, greeting:

You are hereby commanded to serve and return the within subpoena according to law.

Dated at Washington, this _____day of _____, A. D. _____, and of the Independence of the United States the _____.

_____ _____,
Secretary of the Senate

Form of oath to be administered to the members of the Senate sitting in the trial of impeachments:

I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of _____ _____, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws. So help me God.

Form of summons to be issued and served upon the person impeached.

The United States of America, ss:

The Senate of the United States to _____ _____, greeting:

Whereas the House of Representatives of the United States of America did on the _____day of _____exhibit to the Senate articles of impeachment against you, the said _____ _____, in the words following:

[Here insert the articles]

And demand that you, the said _____ _____,should be put to answer the accusations as set forth in said articles, and that such proceedings, examinations, trials, and judgments, might be thereupon had as are agreeable to law and justice:

You, the said _____ _____, are therefore hereby summoned to be and appear before the Senate of the United States of America, at their chamber, in the city of Washington, on the _____day of _____, at 12 o’clock and 30 minutes afternoon, then and there to answer to the said articles of impeachment, and then and there to abide by, obey and perform such orders, directions, and judgments as the Senate of the United States shall make in the premises, according to the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Hereof you are not to fail.

Witness _____ _____ and Presiding Officer of the said Senate, at the city of Washington, this _____ day of _____, A. D. _____, and of the Independence of the United States the _____.

Form of precept to be indorsed on said writ of summons:

The Unites States of America, ss:

The Senate of the United States to _____ _____, greeting:

You are hereby commanded to deliver to and leave with _____ _____, if conveniently to be found, or, if not, to leave at his usual place of abode or at his usual place of business, in some conspicuous place, a true and attested copy of the within writ of summons, together with a like copy of this precept; and in whichsoever way you perform the service, let it be done at least _____ days before the appearance day mentioned in said writ of summons.

Fail not, and make return of this writ of summons and precept, with your proceedings thereon indorsed, on or before the appearance day mentioned in the said writ of summons.

Witness _____ _____, and Presiding Officer of the Senate, at the city of Washington, this _____ day of _____, A. D. _____, and of the Independence of the United States the _____.

All process shall be served by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate unless otherwise ordered by the court.

 
Rule XXV. If the Senate shall at any time fail to sit for the consideration of articles of impeachment on the day or hour fixed therefor, the Senate may by an order, to be adopted without debate, fix a day and hour for resuming such consideration.

Website design 1998-2005 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content 1998-2005 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com