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Andrew Johnson

Order to Senate Sergeant of Arms George Brown to serve a "Writ of Summons" on Andrew Johnson, signed by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, March 7, 1868

National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. Senate

The Constitution gives the Senate "the sole Power to try all Impeachments," and the Senate rules for impeachment proceedings often borrow from court procedures. An example of such borrowing, the "writ of summons," appeared during the Johnson trial. It was used by the Senate to formally notify the President that the impeachment proceedings had begun. This document is the official copy of the charge to Sergeant-at-Arms George T. Brown for delivery of the summons to the President.

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