Magazine June 03, 2019, Issue

Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment Lessons

The impeachment of Andrew Johnson (Theodore R. Davis)
The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation, by Brenda Wineapple (Random House, 576 pp., $32)

Although Brenda Wineapple insists that she began her new book “six years ago — deep into the Obama presidency — when impeachment was far from anyone’s mind,” this is clearly not a book about Barack Obama, or even, for that matter, about Andrew Johnson.

But I will let her tell you that.

Impeachment is a constitutional process that serves as a restraint on “all civil Officers of the United States.” It actually makes four separate appearances in the text of the Constitution, three of them in Article I, concerning Congress, and the other at the tail end of Article II on

This article appears as “Impeachment Theater” in the June 3, 2019, print edition of National Review.

Allen C. Guelzo — Mr. Guelzo is the Senior Research Scholar in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University.

In This Issue

Against Socialism

Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

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Going Postal

Bernie Sanders tweeted a hot new idea: ‘Did you know that from 1911-1967, Americans could bank at their local post office?’


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