« AnteriorContinuar »
[March 18, 1836.
the injustice of that proceeding, and makes an issue of fact, that the mover of the resolution gave it up, and fact upon the truth of the sentence pronounced upon was compelled to give it up, or lose the whole resohim. This proposition is in these words:
lution; for it was well known throughout the Senate “And whereas the said resolve, in all its various that not even a party majority, at the end of an bunshapes and forms, was unfounded and erroneous in point dred days' debate, could be got to vote for it; that of fact, and therefore unjust and unrighteous, as well as several members of the opposition openly admitted the irregular and unconstitutional; because the said Presi. right of the President to make the dismission, and could dent Jackson, neither in the act of dismissing Mr. Du not vote for the resolution with that specification in it. ane, nor in the appointment of Mr. Taney, as specified The second specification was for appointing Mr. Ta. in the first form of the resolve, nor in taking upon him. ney to make the removal of the deposites, which Mr. self the responsibility of removing the deposites, as Duane would not. This requires no consideration, and specified in the second form of the same resolve, nor in admits of no notice. It was scarcely noticed in debate; any act which was then or can now be specified under and, being wholly dependent on the first specification, the vague and ambiguous terms of the general denun- it was withdrawn with it and never mentioned since. ciation contained in the third and last form of the re. It was given up by the mover without a vote, because solve, did do or commit any act in violation or in dero. even a party majority could not be got to vote for it; and gation of the laws and constitution, or dangerous to the in cannot be resuscitated now for the sake of a posthuliberties of the people.”
mous discussion. The condemnatory resolution, as first drawn up, con. The third specification was for taking on himself the tained two specifications of supposed violation of law responsibility of removing the deposites. This specifi. and constitution: first, the dismission of Mr. Duane from cation, like the two former, was found to be too weak the Treasury Department because he would not remove to stand a vote. It was withdrawn by the mover with: the public moneys from the Bank of the United States; out a vote, because it was known that not even a party and, second, the appointment of Mr. Taney to make majority could be induced to vote for it. Being thus that removal. The second form of the resolution con given up and abandoned, it can no longer claim the tained a single specification, namely, taking upon him. honor of a notice. self the responsibility of removing the deposites; and An allegation, twice repeated by way of aggravation, the third and ultimate form of the same resolution was also graced the first and second forms of the resolution, utterly destitute of any specification whatever. Having which disappeared from the third; it was, that the remarked that these specifications were copied from President's conduct was dangerous to the liberties of the proceedings of the Bank of the United States, and
This allegation also shared the fale of the in the very words used by that institution, such as he three specifications. It was given up and withdrawn had read them at the opening of this debate, Mr. B. without a vote, because not even a party majority could said, we join issue upon each of these specifications, as vote for it; and thus it was clearly admitted that the far as they are made under the first and second forms President's conduct was not dangerous to the liberties of which they bear, and are ready to join issue upon any the people. specification which can be assigned under the vague The resolve as adopted was void of specification, and terms of the third form.
contains no allegation wbatever on which an issue of We deny, out and out, that there was any violation of fact or of law could be taken. It was a vague, indefithe laws or constitution in the dismissal of Mr. Duane, nite denunciation, without a reference to any act, at cr in the appointment of Mr. Taney, or in taking upon any time, in any place, or to any law, or any clause in himself the responsibility of removing the deposites, or the constitution supposed to be violated. Against such in ary proceeding whatever, either late or early, in re a condemnation argument is impossible, for issues are lation to the public revenue.
impracticable. I limit myself to the broad, emphatic All these denials we made at the time; and every denial of the truth and validity of any thing that can be specification ventured upon by the mover of the resolu- specified under this vague denunciation. I pronounce tion was promptiy met and fully overthrown by us. myself and my friends to be now standing ready, chalShall I repeat the arguments we then used, or shall i lenging and defying any specification under this resolulimit myself to a recapitulation of points which mark tion, and waiting to impale and transfix it the moment it our reasoning, and to an enumeration of proois which is produced. And here I conclude this head, and hold attest our victory? I prefer the latter, and shall pro- my second proposition to be completely established; ceed accordingly.
namely, that the charge of violating the laws and constiFirst, then, the dismissal of Mr. Duane because he tution was unfounded and erroneous in point of faci, would not remove the deposites:
and that the condemnation of the President was, thereIn answer to this specification we showed, first, that fore, as unjust and unrighteous as it was illegal, irreguthe right of the President to dismiss this Secretary re lar, and unconstitutional. sulted from his constitutional obligation to see the laws III. I pass on to the third proposition, which affirms faithfully extcuted; secondly, from the recognition of the vagueness and ambiguity of the resolve as adopted, the right in the first act of Congress establishing the and presents some of the evils resulting from such an Treasury Department.
indefinite mode of condemnation. It is in these words: Here is the law: “Whenever the Secretary (of the " And whereas the said resolve, as adopted, was unTreasury) shall be removed from office by the Presi- certain and ambiguous, containing nothing but a loose dent of the United States, or in any other case of va. and floating charge for derogating from the laws and cancy in the office of Secretary, the assistant shall, du- constitution, and assuming ungranted power and auring the vacancy, have the charge and custody of the thority in the late executive proceedings in relation to records, books, and papers, appertaining to the said the public revenue, without specifying in what part of office.” This is tbe seventh section of the act entitled the executive proceedings, or what part of the public “An act to establish the Treasury Department," revenue, was intended to be referred to, or what parts passed September 2, 1789. It is an express, and, as of the laws and constitution were supposed to have the debates of the time will show, a purposely express- been infringed, or in what part of the Union, or at wbat ed recognition of the right of the President to dismiss period of his administration, these late proceedings this officer. And here I might dismiss this specifica- | were supposed to have taken place; thereby putting tion; but it is right to recall the recollection of the leach Senator at liberty vote in favor of the resolve upon
March 18, 1836.)
a separate and secret reason of his own, and leaving United States, without the instructions of the President the ground of the Senate's judgment to be guessed at of the United States." by the public, and to be differently and diversely inter Here all is open, manly, and intelligible. Mr. Giles preted by individual Senators, according to the private tells what he means, and commits himself upon the issue. and particular understanding of each; contrary to all the General Hamilton knows what he is charged with; the ends of justice, and to all the forms of legal and judi. House knows what to proceed upon; and the public cial proceedings; to the great prejudice of the accused, knows for what to hold the accused to his defence, the who could not know against what to defend himself; and accuser to his proofs, the House to its justice, and all the to the loss of senatorial responsibility, by shielding Sena parties to their official accountability to their con. tors from public accountability, for making up a judg-stituents. Compare this resolve against President Jackment upon grounds which the public cannot know, and son with the resolve of Mr. Giles, and see how dif. which, if known, might prove to be insufficient in law, ferent in the essential particulars of criminal accusation. or unfounded in fact."
The general charge is the same in both cases, that of When he had read this proposition, Mr. B. said, is violating law, and acting without authority; yet the this a true description of the Senate's judgment? Can resolves are totally different; one all precision, the it be possible that this elevated hody, intended by the other all ambiguity. In one, every word a declaration constitution to be the gravest assembly on earth, could of fact or law, on which precise issues might be taken; have so far sported with its own responsibility, and with in the other, every word a problem, and susceptible of the rights of an accused person, as to deliver a sentence as many meanings as there were tongues to debate it. of condemnation so void of form as this description an Like the oracular responses of the Pythian Apollo, they nounces? The question is a grave one, and the answer seemed to be selected for their amphibology, and be should be the best which the nature of the case can pos. cause any meaning and every meaning which might be sibly admit of. Inspection is the best answer which the required or forbid, might be affirmed or denied under case admits of. It is a case for the inspection of the them. Try them by their sense and import. “Late record; for trying the record by itself. Here it is; read, executive proceedings.” Here are three words, and listen, and judge:
three ambiguities. i. “Late.” How late! one year, “ Resolved, That the President, in the late executive two years, five or ten years ago? 2. “Executive." proceedings in relation to the revenue, has assumed What part of the executive? the Chief Magistrate, or upon himself authority and power not conferred by the one of the heads of Departments? 3. “The public constitution and laws, but in derogation of both."
What part of it? That in the Bank of the Vague, vague, vague, uncertain, ambiguous, decep- United States, or in the deposite banks, or in a state of tive, amphibological, and the highest illustration of that collection in South Carolina? I defy any man to affis Cynic's sarcasm, who defined language to be an art con any definite idea to either of these terms, or to take any ferred upon man to enable his tongue to conceal his issue upon them. All is uncertain, ambiguous, problethoughts. Surely the very thing is concealed here which matical; nothing is clear but the abandonment of all that is the only thing that ought to be known, namely, the related to Mr. Duane, Mr. Taney, the removal of the specific act which constitutes the violation of law and deposites, the responsibility of removing them, the danconstitution intended to be fastened on the President. ger to the liberties of the people, and the complete
I do not dilate upon the use and necessity of precise cutting loose from all connexion with the Bank of the allegation in criminal accusation. The time, the place, United States, whose wrongs had solely occupied the and ihe act, are the essence of the charge, and can never two previous forms of the resolution, and had figured be dispensed with. The instinct of justice in every hu so incontinently in the speeches of all its friends. All man bosom recognises this; the forms of criminal pro. this is abandoned; all mention of the bank is dropped. ceeding in all countries of law and order prescribe it; Instead of it, the vague charge is substituted, which has and the mover of this condemnation admitted it, by bis been so often pointed out to the notice of the Senate; repeated attempts to give specifications, and by his tardy and, under this general denunciation, a general verdict abandonment of that attempt at the last moment, at the was procured by a new species of individual contribuend of one hundred days' debate, when the sentence of tion, something like a subscription list, or pony purse condemnation could no longer be delayed, without losing of accusation, in which each one put in according to his the benefit of it at the impending elections, and when it
will and his means. was indisputably known that no majority, not even the Mr. B. said he had adduced this instance of criminal party majority which then prevailed in this chamber, accusation, this charge against General Hamilton, for could be brought to unite in any act of illegal conduct the purpose of showing that precise allegations were which the genius of the mover could impute to the indispensable in such cases; but it was also available and President. I will not dilate upon this plain point, but I eminently applicable for ånother purpose; for the purwill produce an example from our own history to show pose of showing that corrupt, wicked, or improper with what precise allegation of time, place, and act, motives were not necessary to be alleged in proceeding violations of law were charged upon executive officers against an officer for an impeachable offence. The in the earlier age of our republic.
design of Mr. Giles was to impeach General Hamilton, I read from the journals of the House of Representa and for that purpose he charges him with a naked viola. tives in 1793. They are the resolutions submitted by tion of law, without the slightest imputation of an impropMr. Giles, of Virginia, for the purpose of impeaching er motive, and without the smallest allegation of injury the Secretary of the Treasury, General Hamilton, and to the public. It is a case in point; and, added to the are in these words:
cases of the judges Chase and Pickering, is conclusive " Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury bas to show, that even where a regular and, formal impeach. violated the law passed the 4th of August, 1790, making ment is intended, no averment, under our constitution, appropriation of certain moneys authorized to be borrow- of criminal motives, or public detriment, need be al. ed by the same law, in the following particulars, to wit: leged.
“i. By applying a certain portion of the principal Mr. President, the public, and even the Senate, have borrowed to the payment of interest falling due upon heard much, of late years, of a certain doctrine in politics the principal, which was not authorized by that or any called non-committal, and it has generally been present. other law.
ed in a rery unenviable and undesirable point of view. “2. By drawing a part of the same moneys into the some bave even gone so far as to say that they scorned
(March 18, 1836.
the character of an uncommitted man; and a certain gen. conduct in public speeches in Philadelphia, meaning all tleman that you and I wot of has been conspicuously the while his conduct in relation to the revenue in South paraded, in speeches and gazettes, as the founder of the Carolina, that the friends of the bank, who had previousnon-committal school, and the original of the portrait ny applauded the President for that conduct, clapped, which has been drawn of an uncommitted man. of the and shouted, and flung their caps into the air in a delijustice, the propriety, the truth, and the decency, of rium of exultation, under the delusion that all this dewhat has beed said and published of that gentleman, on nunciation found its iņuendo in the wrongs of the bank, that point, it is not my purpose, in this place, to make and not in the wrongs of South Carolina? Certain it is, a question, nor would it, I presume, be your pleasure that the criminating resolve, which in its first and second to decide. I pretermit that labor; and, proceeding upon form was all bank, in its third form cut loose from the assumption of his opponents, that the aforesaid gen- the bank entirely! that Mr. Duane, Mr. Taney, the re. tleman was actually the founder of the aforesaid school, sponsibility, the deposites, the mother bank and its I have to remark that it seems to me that, like other branches, which figured exclusively in the first and great inventors, he is in danger of being robbed of the second forms, were all expunged in the third form! and glory of his discovery by the improvements which are not one word retained which could commit the supmade by others upon his invention. So far as I under- porters of the resolve to the name, to the cause, or io stand the institutes of the original school, the right of the complaints of the bank! non-committal extended no further than to problems in I bave described the scene, faintly described it, as it politics; it did not embrace cases of law and morality, took place in this Senate, in the face of all then present, nor extend to the conduct of judges and Senators! But and while the call for the yeas and nays was delayed to who can stop the march of improvement? Who can give time for making up the phraseology of the resululimit the genius of the scholar? Who can baffle the art cion. It now becomes my duiy to explain the reason of the cunning imitator? Already the doctrine of non why it came to pass that this business of fixing the noncommittal has made its way to the judginent seal-to committal phrases of the resolve was postponed to the this chamber, and to this very case. The Senate refuses last moment, and then had to be transacted by consulta. to commit itself upon the question, of what it is that they tions and whisperings in the Senate. The reason, sir, was have condemned President Jackson for! They not only this: at the commencement of the session of 1833 -'34, refuse to commit themselves for the grounds of that the Bank of the United States and the Senate of the judgment, but they revoke the committal which they United States appear to have commenced an attack had partly made. They withdraw every thing upon upon the people, the property, and the Government which they could be held to their accountability. They
of the United States. The bank created a pressure; baul in, back out, cut loose, and run away, from their the Senate excited a panic; and the spring clections own attempt to specify the guilt of President Jackson; in New York and Virginia were the first and prinand then condemn bim in a general verdict, made up by cipal objects of both. The bank sent out her orders to compromise, and unable to bear the test of any one
call in debts and break up exchanges; the Senate brought specification whatever. Yes, sir, made up by com in its resolution to condemn President Jackson for a vio. promise! for who of us that were then in this chamber lation of the laws and constitution; and, under the comthat does not remember the extraordinary circumstances bined action of this double process, the price of all propof the closing scene? the peripatetic movements which erty was sunk, and the public mind agitated and alarmtook place among members? the crossing to and fro on ed, until a fictitious panic was produced. The operathis floor? the consultations and the whisperings? the tion was kept up, the bank screwing tighter and tightfixing and altering, the writing and rubbing out, the er, and the alarm guns firing, and the tocsin ringing fast. offering and withdrawing, the tearing up and beginning
er and louder in the Senate, until the pressure had anew, which went on in this chamber, to the delay of reached its lowest point of depression, and the panic its the call for the yeas and nays, until a set of phrases highest point of culmination, and the important elections, were collected, by contribution from different parts of of New York and Virginia were just at hand, and evethis floor, sufficiently non-committal to embrace all who ry thing was ripe for the final blow. The condemwere willing to condemn the President, without being nation of the President before thuse elections, and able to tell for what? I speak as an eye witness, wlien
and at the moment of their commencement, was this I describe the closing scene in these terms; and I appeal finalblow, and the exact moment for striking it had arri. to forty Senators then and now present to affirm my
ved on Friday, the 28th day of March. That was the statement. And what say the laws of the land to the day, for it was the last day that it could be done in time to verdicts obtained by compromise? Utterly reprobated; have its effect. Monday' was the first day of April, and the jury reprimanded who gives them; their verdict set
the great elections were to begin; it was therefore inaside, and a new trial ordered..
dispensable that the news of the condemnation of the Sir, said Mr. B., examine this sentence of condemna. President should leave Washington a few days before tion as it stands. Examine it word by word, and see if the first of April, in order to reach in time the more reit is located to any one place, limited to any tiine, or
mote election grounds in the great States of New York corfined to any one act? Will it not cover the late” and Virginia, and to have its effect upon those elections. executive proceedings relative to the revenue in South This is the reason why the debate on the condemnatury Carolina, as well as the “late” executive proceedings resolution was delayed, protracted, prolonged, and spun relative to the deposites in Philadelphia? Will it not
out from the 26th of December to the 28th of March, cover the orders to Commodore Elliott to proceed to and then passed in the hurry and precipitation which Charleston just as well as it will cover the order 10 Mr. produced that scene of consultation and of whispering, Duane to quit the cabinet? Would it not cover the of running to and fro, of putting in, and striking oui, of removal of iroops to the South, lo ensure the collection offering and withdrawing, which was then witnessed in of the revenue, just as well as it would cover the removal the Senate, and which ended in the engendering of that of the deposites from the bank to prevent the mischiefs unrivalled specimen, that ne plus ultru production, that of their remaining there? Were not the two measures chef d'ouvre, and everlasting masterpiece of the nonequally complained of at Charleston and in Philadelphia? committal policy, which now stands upon your jourand is it not notorious, that when distinguished sons of nal as a judgment of condemnation against' President South Carolina, immediately after the condemnation of Jackson. the President, denounced the lawless tyranny of his Mr. B. said he was an enemy to monopolies, and must
MARCH 18, 1836.)
express his dissatisfaction to them, in whatsoever shape illegal and unconstitutional conduct were all withdrawn; they were presented to his view. Here was a monopo- and the remainder of it, namely, that they were withi. ly, a new and strange monopoly; it was a monopoly of drawn because no majority, not even a pariy one, could non-committal and of irresponsibility, and that by friends be got to vote for them, can be proved by ihe Senators present to the prejudice of their friends absent. The
then and now present. The rule of law is too clear for Kentucky legislative resolve, all the State legislative re.
argument. It is known to every apprentice to the law, solves, all the resolves of all the public meetings, and that what is given up upon the face of the record canall the petitions of the 120,000 petitioners sent into the
not be retained, as a part of the case, by any fiction of Senate, were direct and specific in their charges against pleading, legal intendment, constructive implication, the President. They all charged in direct terms the mental reservation, or supposititious reintegration what. violation of the laws and constitution, and all grounded
The issue is open and bold, that, if the specifitheir charges upon the dismissal of Mr. Duane, the ap- cations can be saved by implication, they are insuffipointment of Mr. Taney, the assumption of the respon. cient to justify the condemnation; and to the trial of sibility, the removal of the deposites, and the danger to this issue we challenge and defy the whole power of the liberties of the people. They all specified these the opposition. acts, and therefore fully committed themselves, and now V. My fifth proposition affirms the total impropriety stand committed upon them. So did their friends and
and the particular unconstitutionality of the Senate's leaders on this floor. All were even at the start. All proceeding against President Jackson. It is in these were in the same predicament up to the memorable words: 28th day of March, 1834. Up to that day all were to
“And whereas the Senate being the constitutional gether in the Caudine Forks; but now the leaders and tribunal for the trial of the President whien charged by the followers are divided. The leaders extricated the House of Representatives with offences against the themselves; they uncommitted themselves; they cut laws and the constitution, the adoption of the said reloose from the bank and all its griefs and complaints. solve before any impeachment was preferred by the They dropped every thing which could connect them
House was a breach of the privileges of the House, a upon the record with the bank and its cause; en. violation of the constitution, a subversion of justice, a sconced themselves in the mystification of amphibologic prejudication of a question which might legally come cal phrases; and now stand untrammeled, unpledged, un before the Senate, and a disqualification of that body to tied, uncommitted and non-committed upon one single perform its constitutional duty with fairness and imparallegation of law or fact on which responsibility can ality, if the President should thereafter be regularly be incurred, or an issue can be taken. This is impeached by the flouse of Representatives for the same wrong. The leaders should never desert their follow.
offence." ers; they should never leave their deluded associates in In this proposition, said Mr. B., I take my stand upon the lurch. The military man shares the fate of his sol
the same ground which I took in the case of Mr. Barry diers; he saves them, or dies with them! The politician in February, 1831, and in the case of President Jackson should do the same. No monopoly of escape is allow
in January, 1834. What I said in the case of Mr. Barry, ed to one any more than to the other. Here is a case
five years ago, has been read; what I said in the case of for sympathy and relief, for interposition and help. The President Jackson, two years ago, will be read now. It followers should be allowed to escape with the leaders; | is done for two purposes: first, to show that we stand they should be allowed to cut loose from the bank; they upon the same ground now which we occupied then; should be permitted to uncommit themselves! and for and next, to let it be seen that the expunging process that purpose should have leave to withdraw and amend! is no after-thought with us; and that gentlemen are not to amend, by striking out every thing that relates to the allowed to take a distinction between expunging now deposites, the Secretaries, the liberties of the people, and expunging then; their power alone having prevented the responsibility, &c., and float at large upon the un the expurgation at the same session, the same day, and definable and intangible denunciation of "the late ex the same instant, at which the unjust and unrighteous ecutive proceedings in relation to the revenue!"
sentence was passed. IV. My fourth proposition applies to the doctrine of Mr. B. here read from the debate of February, 1834: legal implications, and affirms that what has been with. " Mr. Benton said that the first of these resolutions drawn upon objection, cannot afterwards be understood, contained impeachable matter, and was in fact, though by implication, to remain a part of the record. The not in form, a direct impeachment of the President. He proposition, for its better understanding, will be read. recited the constitutional provision, that the President is in these words:
might be impeached, 1, for treason; 2, for bribery; 3, "And whereas the specifications contained in the first for other high crimes; 4, for misdemeanors; and said and second torms of the resolve, having been objected that the first resolution charged both a high crime and a to in debate, and shown to be insufficient to sustain the misdemeanor; the crime, in violating the laws and concharges they were adduced to support, and it being well stitution, in seizing upon illegal and ungranted power believed that no majority could be obtained to vote for over the public treasury, to the danger of the liberties the said specifications, and the same having been actual. of the people; the misdemeanor, in dismissing the late ly withdrawn by the mover in the face of the whole Sen. Secretary of the Treasury from office. Mr. B. said that ate, in consequence of such objection and belief, and the terms of the resolution were sufficiently explicit to before any yote taken thereupon, the said specifications define a high crime within the meaning of the constitucould not afterwards be admitted by any rule of parlia- tion, without having recourse to the arguments and decmentary practice, or by any principle of legal implica larations used by the mover of the resolation in illustration, secret intendment, or mental reservation, to remain tion of his meaning; but if any doubt remained on that and continue a part of the written and public resolve head, it would be removed by the whole tenor of the from which they were thus withdrawn; and, if they could argument, and especially that part of it which compared be so admitted, they would not be sufficient to sustain the President's conduct to that of Cæsar in seizing the the charges therein contained.”
public treasure in Rome, to aid him in putting an end The proposition contains three points: 1st. An af. to the liberties of his country; and every Senator, in vofirmation. 2d. A rule of law. 3d. An issue offered. The ting upon it, would vote as directly upon the guilt or affirmation, in part, is proved by the record, namely, innocence of the President as if he was responding to the that the specifications of President Jackson's supposed / question of guilty, or not guilty, in the concluding scene
(March 18, 1836.
of a formal impeachment. We are, then, said Mr. B., figure which the Senate would make in going on with trying an impeachment! But how? The constitution the consideration of this resolution. It accused the gives to the House of Representatives the sole power to President of violating the constitution, and itself commitoriginate impeachments; yet we originate this impeach- ted twenty violations of the same constitution in making ment ourselves. The constitution gives the accused a the accusation! It accused him of violating a single law, right to be present; but he is not here. It requires the and itself violated all the laws of criminal justice in prosSenate to be sworn as judges; but we are not so sworn. ecuting him for it! It charged him with conduct dan. It requires the Chief Justice of the United States to pre-gerous to the liberties of the people; and immediately side when the President is tried; but the Chief Justice trampled upon the rights of all citizens in the gratuitous is not here presiding. It gives the House of Represent- assumption to protect them from that illusory danger." atives a right to be present, and to manage the prose. Mr. B. would close this head. It was a painful one. cution; but neither the House nor its managers attend It was a pointed and severe condemnation of the Senate's this proceeding. It requires the forms of criminal jus conduct; but not more so than had been pronounced in tice to be strictly observed; yet all these forms are neg. Kentucky in a case many thousand degrees below the lected, or violated. It is a proceeding without law, culpability of the present one. Mr. B. would confront his without justice, without precedent! in which the Chief proposition with the concluding resolve in the Kentucky Magistrate of the republic is to be tried without being case, and appeal to all candid men to say if the censure heard, and in which his accusers are to act as bis judges.' then pronounced is not many ten thousand times more
This is what I said two years ago. I choose to refer applicable to the Senate, who are the constitutional to it as then said, and to repeat it now, first, to show triers of President Jackson, than to the Kentucky Gererthat my present opinions of the conduct of the Senate al Assembly, who were not the triers of Judge Innis. were formed, two years ago, and fully expressed then, The fifth proposition. The Kentucky resolution. and are not the creation of subsequent events and after
" The Senate being the con “That the constitution and thoughts; and, secondly, that the specifications then stitutional tribunal for tbe trial laws of the land, securing to made were laid hold of, and expressly objected to, as of the President when charged each citizen, whether in or out showing the impeachment character of the resolution; by the House of Representa- of office, a fair and impartial $c that the proof is clear that they were withdrawn to tives with offences against the trial, whether by iinpeachment avoid objections wbich could not be answered, and on
laws and constitution, the adop- or at common law, the exam. which yotes could not be taken. I thus show that the
tion of the said resolution be-ple of a legislative body, be
fore any impeachment was pre-fore the commencement of any opinions expressed in this fifth proposition are as old as
ferred by the House, was a prosecution, expressing an opinthe commencement of the Senate's proceeding against breach of the privileges of the ion upon the guilt or innocence the President; and what is, perhaps, more material, I House, a violation of the consti- of an implicated individual have shown from the resolutions proposed in the Ken- tution, a subversion of justice, would tend 10 subvert the fun, tucky Legislature, in the case of Judge Innis, that they a prejudication of a question damental principles of justice.' were expressed by others long before I had any occasion which might come before the to form opinions upon such subjects. I will place my
Senate, and a disqualification of
that body to perform its constiproposition by the side of that resolution, and leave it to
tutional duty with fairness and any one to show a difference, except in the circumstance
impartiality, if the Presiden that makes the conduct of the Senate many ten thousand should be alterwards regularly times more censurable than the conduct of the Kentucky impeached by the House of General Assembly.
Representatives for the same It was thus, Mr. President, that I challenged the un offence.' constitutionality of the Senate's proceeding on the mo VI. Mr. B. took up his sixth proposition, and read it: ment of the first introduction of this fatal resolution. I "And whereas the temperate, respectful, and argudid so from a thorough conviction of its total infringementative defence and protest of the President against ment of the constitution. I knew then, and I know the aforesaid proceedings of the Senate was rejected and now, what was due to the Senate, and what was impli repulsed by that body, and was voted to be a breach of cated of myself in the expression of such an opinion. I its privileges, and was not permitted to be entered on knew that I spoke under a just and mighty responsibili. its journal, or printed among its documents, while all ty to that enlightened discernment and high moral sense memorials, petitions, resolves, and remonstrances against of the community which no man may be permitted to the President, however violent or unfounded, and caldisregard, and which is so prompt to perceive, and so culated to inflame the people against him, were duly able to avenge, the outrage of unjust accusation. I knew and honorably received, encomiastically commented that the charge must be made good, or recoil upon its upon in speeches, read at the table, ordered to be print. author; and I went on at that time to justify the chal. ed with the long list of names attached, referred to the lenge which I had made. Will the Senate indulge me Finance Committee for consideration, filed away among in the reading of a few words of what I then said, and the public archives, and now constitute a part of the which will stand for a part of my speech now? This is public documents of the Senate, to be handed down to the part which I beg leave to repeat:
the latest posterily." Mr. B. then read from the game debate:
Resuming his speech, Mr. B. went on to say that the “ Mr. Benton called upon the Senate to consider well statements in this proposition were merely historical, what they did, before they proceed further in the con. and intended to preserve the memory of the manner in sideration of this resolution. He called upon them to which the defence of the President was repulsed, and consider what was due to the House of Representatives, the attacks of his assailants were received. The proof whose privilege was invaded, and who had a right, and of the main allegations will be found in the journals of which had a right, to send a message to the Senate the session of 1833-'34; but what that journal does not complaining of ihe proceeding and demanding its aban. show, and what no history can ever adequately tell, is donment. He conjured them to consider what was due the violence and sury with which the President was to the President, who was thus to be tried in his absence denounced, and his protest stigmatized, during all that for a most enormous crime-what was due to the Senate period. It was a period which covered the progress of itself in thus combining the incompatible characters of ihe Virginia elections, which, protracted through the accusers and judges, and which would itself be judged month of April in that State, are extended in some by Europe and America. He dwelt particularly on the I instances into the month of May, The debate in the