The Covode Committee

The Covode Committee

During the spring and summer of 1860, the Republican 36th Congress through a select committee chaired by John Covode of Pennsylvania investigated the possible impeachment of President James Buchanan.

While it was for the most part a partisan attempt (as the committee consisted of three Republicans and one Democrat) to embarrass the beleaguered President, the committee was surprisingly successful at rooting out fearsome amounts of corruption, treason and incompetence.

Buchanan sent at least two formal messages to Congress complaining about what Covode and company were doing and denying Congress' very power to do so. In the long run, the committee found that Buchanan had not done anything to warrant impeachment, but that his was the most corrupt administration since the adoption of the US Constitution in 1789.

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