Andrew Johnson, Congress, Edwin Stanton discussed on This Morning With Gordon Deal
Back to the Jim Bohannon show at one eight six six five O, JIMBO is we look at the impeaches that is story in Brenda white apples, look at the trial of Andrew Johnson and the dream of just Dacian I gather, there was a brief honeymoon period in which it looked as though Johnson might get along with the radical Republicans. But that, that quickly changed, what was the, the, the major turning point, the, the crossing of the Rubicon, if you will. Well, there were several crossings, actually, it seems to me. I mean, it's you know when as I said, John's Johnson starts issuing executive orders. He's starts, you know, allowing he basically allows what we call states rights, you know, the issue one of the issues that the war was fought about in terms of home rule when he sets up so their state legislatures basically and starts. Can, you know, pardoning former confederates at the rate of almost a hundred day, a lot of these people started who had been thought of as traitors they started getting into not just government, the police force. So there was that there was the effort that he made to make these states part of the union again with, you know, by ignoring and running around congress. And then when congress started to pass legislation to help the formerly inflate. Saved of the south like civil rights legislation, which was only granting people citizenship due process. You know, it's, it's not really very radical at all Johnson, would veto this kind of legislation in congress would has legislation over his vetoes, then when congress decided had to enshrine civil rights in the constitution with the fourteenth amendment. Johnson went out on us, speaking tour that was that was lampooned is the Andes swing around the circle where he basically campaigned against the fourteenth amendment in started abusing members of congress saying they should be hanged that they were responsible for what had been now murders in the south murders of black people, and white loyalists as they were called or white Republicans, particularly in, in major. Cities like Memphis in New Orleans, where the, the there were massacres that had occurred and even union form. You know, union generals like, Phil Sheridan who is not exactly. A radical was so horrified. He said that he'd never seen anything quite like this in Johnson tried to suppress this, you know information, so it's getting worse and worse and worse as time went on. So did you wanna ask them? I wanted to I wanted to ask you, I guess about secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, who spent you say. Gonna say so what happened was congress thought. Well, you know, we're going to have to pass even more legislation reconstruction legislation, which basically, in franchise, the blacks of the south, and who the people who are going to protect them at the polls was military, the south is divided into military zones. And so in that particular case was in charge of the military was General Grant, and Edwin Stanton, who had been secretary of war under Lincoln, and in many cases, and many people thought that he was is much as Lincoln or grant responsible for the union winning the war. So, so the congress, congress want to keep standing in office, and they knew that Stanton by this time, couldn't stand Johnson and Johnson couldn't stand him. So they passed what was called the tenure of office act to protect Stanton that meant that none of people known of the people in Johnson's cab. Cabinet any civil officer who had been confirmed by the Senate needed Senate could only be fired with Senate approval. So Johnson to make a long story short, what he did was he fired Stanton anyway. And that that'll help rope live. We're down the path of impeachment. Now, I'll read that article two section for again, the president vice president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of treason bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, unquote. Very short little section, there, don't want to the extent that you think that Gerald Ford was correct, when he had defined the criteria for impeachment as whatever. A majority of the house of representatives says it is at any given point in history. Tirelessly wrong. But it sounds terrible. And the reason he did not entirely wrong. Is that the constitution is very vague on this. So even if you go to federalist papers, where Alexander Hamilton writes that impeachment that pause for impeachment can be something like maladministration, or abuse of power. What does that mean necessarily? So in some sense, what happens is the what, what Ford means is that all you need is a simple majority in the house to vote for impeaching president, it's not the same as removing from office, and it's not the same as conviction. It's, it's the impeachment, which means then he goes, he because it always was a, he is, is tried in the problem, of course, is, we know what treason is we think we know bribery is, but what are high crimes? These days, you will we hear a misdemeanor. That means all. Well, it could be worse. It could be a felony. I mean, the term has somehow lost the meaning and context over the decades. And it didn't have it, then they know what that is do that could could, you know, misdemeanor be stealing chicken. Would you throw somebody out of office for doing that, you know, and also different states have different laws for what constitutes misdemeanor? So what's a high crime? You know what is it a high misdemeanor? And so these are very, very unspecific terms and conditions. And so in that particular case that's why I say, there's a way in which Ford is right, but congress is very, very rarely, as we know in our history, only Johnson and Clinton takes that step because it seems like and it is such a radical step because we have a democracy, and people voted the, you know, the chief executive into office with Johnson. However Johnson wasn't voted in this. He was the accidental president. So we didn't really have a constituency. He didn't really have the kind. Of base. Whether we call today that we think of a president is having to have gotten in we'll come back and we'll talk some more with our guest again. She is noted historian, Brenda, white apple, the book is the impeaches the trial of Andrew.