...the thing is here; and so far as I am concerned, though a Republican and opposed to Mr. Johnson and his policy, he shall have as fair a trial as an accused man ever had on this earth.
(a letter addressed to D.R. Anthony and 1,000 others: ) I do not recognize your right to demand that I vote either for or against conviction. I have taken an oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, and trust that I shall have the courage to vote according to the dictates of my judgment and for the highest good of the country.
I am acting as judge…by what right can any man upon whom responsibility rests, and who does not even hear the evidence, undertake to advise me as to what the judgment, and even the sentence, should be? I wish all my friends and constituents to understand that I, and not they, am sitting in judgment upon the President. I, not they, have sworn to do impartial justice. I, not they, am responsible to God and man for my action and its consequences.
-Senator Fessenden on Johnson’s impeachment.
…. I became a judge acting on my own responsibility and accountable only to my own conscience and my Maker; and no power could force me to decide on such a case contrary to my convictions, whether that party was composed of my friends or my enemies.
–James W. Grimes on President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment in 1868 (Profiles in Courage by JFK)
The Gutierrez impeachment will surely reach the Senate. They have the number I believe. In a proceeding like this, it is much of a political than a legal process. It’s always a numbers game. People are much interested in the tallying votes than in the substance of the evidences.
How will the Senate, who will act as jury, behave on this is much more interesting than the rhetorics of the House. Perhaps because it will be very clear who will vote for the conviction or not compared to the House na napakadami. The greatest challenge for the Senators now is how to be impartial. Can the partisan Senators act as impartial judges? Will Gutierrez have a fair trial in the august chamber of the Senate? Or this is just but another political execution?
Senator Edmund Ross voted against the impeachment of the President amid the strong pressure of his Party and majority of the people, in accordance with his conviction. His vote was the only vote needed (two-thirds) to convict the President. That was a political suicide, which ended his political career. He did not give in to the pressure. He stood his ground.
What interests me most in this Gutierrez impeachment case is not the two-thirds vote, but the behavior of the Senators and the impartial judgment they could render based on the gravity of the evidences and the dictates of their judgments.