I have thus, as briefly as possible, stated my views of this case. I have expressed no views upon any of the questions upon which the president has been arraigned at the bar of public opinion outside fof the charges. I have no right to travel out of the record.
Mr. Johnson's character as a statesman, his relations to political parties, his conduct as a citizen, his efforts at reconstruction, the exercise of his pardoning power, the character of his appointments, and the influences under which they were made, are not before us on any charges, and are not impugned by any testimony.
Nor can I suffer my judgment of the law foverning this case to be influenced by political considerations. I cannot agree to destroy the harmonious working of the Constitution for the sake of getting rid of an unacceptable President. Whatever may be my opinion of the incumbent, I cannot consent to trifle with the high office he holds. I can do nothing which, by implication, may be construed into an approval of impeachments as a part of future political machinery.
However widely, therefore, I may and do differ with the President respecting his political views and measures, and however deeply I have regretted, and do regrey, the difference between himself and the Congress of the United States, I am not able to record my vote that he is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors by reason of those differences. I am acting in a judicial capacity, under conditions whose binding obligation can hardly be exceeded, and I must act according to the best of my ability and judgment, and as they require. If, according to their dictates, the President is guilty, I must say so; if, according to their dictates the President is not guilty, I must say so.
In my opinion the President has not been guilty of an impeachable offense by reason of anything alleged in either of the articles preferred against him at the bar of the Senate by the House of Representatives