First Member Of Congress Impeached

1797

The House votes to impeach Sen. William Blount of Tennessee, making him the first federal official to be impeached. The crime is treason, stemming from his involvement in a plot to help the British seize the territories of Louisiana and the Floridas from Spain. The next day, July 8, the Senate expels Blount, who returns to Tennessee and is elected to the state Senate. Despite his expulsion, the Senate proceeds with an impeachment trial, unattended by Blount, and votes to dismiss the charges Jan. 11, 1799.