WitnessesIn so doing, consider the trial’s ramifications both at the time as well as how historians view the trial today.The failure to impeach United States President Andrew Johnson was a landmark political event. it shaped the independence of the future executive branch of government socially, politically, and legally. The events occurred during an era of political turmoil in the United States, the reconstruction of the country. President Johnson’s vociferous opposition to the will of Congress could have ousted him from his position through impeachment. However, the failure of the motion established the independence of the executive branch of government. Secondly, this trial highlighted the fact that presidential impeachment is inevitably conditioned by political and legislative debates of the day and therefore cannot be equated to regular trials. The third significant aspect of this trial was the debate generated around the explicit construction to be attributed to the ambiguous term ‘high crimes and misdemeanours’1 as grounds set out in the United States Constitution for the impeachment of a president. In this aspect, impeachment motions in the present day are also conditioned by the social context, because they are still influenced by the contemporary public view. The precise legal construction of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ also still remains a contentious issue. However, the media today plays a crucial role in all major political issues through its influence upon the shaping of public opinion, which contrasts with the impeachment trial of Johnson, as the media did not play such a momentous role then, in influencing political developments.Andrew Johnson was elected Vice-President of the United States and took office on 4 March 1865.2 Consequently, with President Lincoln’s assassination on 15 April 1865, Johnson was elevated to the presidency.