From the Opinion of
Hon. William P. FESSENDEN

    To the suggestion that popular opinion demands the conviction of the President o these charges, I reply that he is not now on trial before the people, byt before the Senate.  In the words of Lord Eldon, upon the trial of the Queen, "I take no notice of what is passing out of doors, because I am supposed constitutionally not to be acquainted with it ."  And again, "It is the duty of those on whom a judicial task is imposed to meet reproach and not court popularity."  The people have not heard the evidence as we have heard it.  The responsibility is not on them, but upon us.  They have not taken an oath to "do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws."  I have taken that oath.  I cannot render judgment upon their convictions, nor can they transfer to themselves my punishment if I violate my own.  And I should consider myself undeserving the confidence of that just and intelligent people who imposed upon me this great responsibility, and unworthy a place among honorable men, if for any fear of public reprobation, and for the sake securing popular favor, I should disregard the conviction of my judgment and my conscience.

    The consequences which may follow either from conviction or acquittal are not for me, with my convictions, to consider.  The future is in the hands of Him who made and governs the universe, and the fear that He will not govern it wisely and well would not excuse me for a violation of His law.