Washington moved aside to give Mr. Henderson a chance to
3. That if the said act regulating the tenure of civil offices be held to be a valid law, no provision of the same was violated by the issuing of said order or by the designation of said Thomas to act as Secretary of War ad interim.
And for answer to said third article, this respondent says that he abides by his answer to said first and second articles in so far as the same are responsive to the allegations contained in the said third article, and, without here again repeating the same answer, prays the same be taken as an answer to this third article as fully as if here again set out at length; and as to the new allegation contained in said third article, that this respondent did appoint the said Thomas to be Secretary for the Department of War ad interim, this respondent denies that he gave any other authority to said Thomas than such as appears in said written authority set out in said article, by which he authorized and empowered said Thomas to act as Secretary for the Department of War ad interim; and he denies that the same amounts to an appointment, and insists that it is only a designation of an officer of that department to act temporarily as Secretary for the Department of War ad interim, until an appointment should be made. But whether the said written authority amounts to an appointment or to a temporary authority or designation, this respondent denies that in any sense he did thereby intend to violate the Constitution of the United States, or that he thereby intended to give the said order the character or effect of an appointment in the constitutional or legal sense of that term. He further denies that there was no vacancy in said office of Secretary for the Department of War existing at the date of said written authority.
And in answer to the eleventh article, this respondent denies that on the 18th day of August, in the year 1866, at the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia, he did, by public speech or otherwise, declare or affirm, in substance or at all, that the thirty-ninth Congress of the United States was not a Congress of the United States authorized by the constitution to exercise legislative power under the same, or that he did then and there declare or affirm that the said thirty-ninth Congress was a Congress of only part of the States in any sense or meaning other than that ten States of the Union were denied representation therein; or that he made any or either of the declarations or affrmations in this behalf, in the said article alleged, as denying or intending to deny that the legislation of said thirty-ninth Congress was valid or obligatory upon this respondent, except so far as this respondent saw fit to approve the same; and as to the allegation in said article, that be did thereby intend or mean to be understood that the said Congress had not power to propose amendments to the Constitution, this respondent says that in said address he said nothing in reference to the subject of amendments of the Constitution. nor was the question of the competency of the said Congress to propose such amendments, without the participation of said excluded States. at the time of said address in any way mentioned or considered or referred to by this respondent. nor in what he did say had he any intent regarding the same, and he denies the allegation so made to the contrary thereof. But this respondent, in further answer to, and in respect of, the said allegations of the said eleventh article hereinbefore traversed and denied, claims and insists upon his personal and official right of freedom of opinion and freedom of speech, and his duty in his political relations as President of the United States to the people of the United States in the exercise of such freedom of opinion and freedom of speech, in the same manner, form and effect as he has in this behalf stated the same in his answer to the said tenth article, and with the same effect as if he here repeated the same; and he further claims and insists, as in said answer to said tenth article he has claimed and insisted, that he is not subject to question, inquisition, impeachment, or inculpation, in any form or manner, of or concerning such rights of freedom of opinion or freedom of speech or his alleged exercise thereof.
And this respondent further denies that on the 21st day of February, in the year 1868, or at any other time, at the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia, in pursuance of any such declaration as is in that behalf in said eleventh article alleged, or otherwise, he did unlawfully, and in disregard of the requirement of the Constitution that he should take care that the laws should be faithfully executed, attempt to prevent the execution of an act entitled "An act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices," passed March 2, 1867, by unlawfully devising or contriving, or attempting to devise or contrive, means by which he should prevent Edwin M. Stanton from forthwith resuming the functions of Secretary for the Department of War, or by lawfully devising or contriving, or attempting to devise or contrive, means to prevent the execution of an act entitled "An act making appropriations for the support of the army for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1868, and for other purposes," approved March 2, 1867, or to prevent the execution of an act entitled "An act to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel States," passed March 2, 1867.
And this respondent, further answering the said eleventh article, says that he has, in his answer to the first article, set forth in detail the acts, steps, and proccedings done and taken by this respondent to and toward or in the matter of the suspension or removal of the said Edwin M. Stanton in or from the office of Secretary for the Department of War, with the times, modes, circumstances, intents, views, purposes, and opinions of official obligation and duty under and with which such acts, steps, and proceedings were done and taken; and he makes answer to this eleventh article of the matters in his answer to the first article, pertaining to the suspension or removal of said Edwin M. Stanton, to the same intent and effect as if they were here repeated and set forth.
And this deponent, further answering the said eleventh article, denies that by means or reason of anything in said article alleged, this respondent, as President of the United States, did, on the 21st day of February, 1868, or at any other day or time. commit, or that he was guilty of, a high misdemeanor in office.
And this respondent, further answering the said eleventh article, says that the same and the matters therein contained do not charge or allege the commission of any act whatever by this respondent, in his office of President of the United States, nor the omission by this respondent of any act of official obligation or duty in his office of President of the United States; nor does the said article nor the matters therein contained name designate, describe, or define any act or mode or form of attempt, device, contrivance, or means, or of attempt at device, contrivance or means, whereby this respondent can know or understand what act or mode or form of attempt, device, contrivance or means, or of attempt at device, contrivance, or means are imputed to or charged against this respondent, in his office of President of the United States, or intended so to be, or whereby this respondent can more fully or definitely make answer unto the said article than he hereby does.
And this respondent, in submitting to this honorable court this his answer to the articles of impeachment exhibited against him, respectfully reserves leave to amend and add to the same from time to time, as may become necessary or proper, and when and as such necessity and propriety shall appear. Andrew Johnson Henry Stanbery, B. R. Curtis, Thomas A. R. Nelson, William M. Evarts. W. S. Groesbeck. Of Counsel.