Tip of the Week: Researching Impeachment in HeinOnline

Exploring HeinOnline, Law Journal Library, Political Science, Tip of the Week, Tips and Tricks, U.S. Congressional Documents, U.S. Congressional Serial Set, U.S. Presidential Library
Lauren Mattiuzzo

HeinOnline’s vast collection of government documents, academic journals, and case law allow users to stay up-to-date with current events in our world. Today, let’s take a look at what resources are available in HeinOnline to impress your friends with your knowledge on recent breaking news!

Impeachment Inquiry on Donald Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that Democratic leaders were launching an official impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. This decision came after a phone call Trump recently made to the president of Ukraine, allegedly asking him to investigate former Vice President and potential presidential challenger Joe Biden, while a U.S. military aid package was on the table. Biden’s son Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian gas producer during Biden’s tenure as vice president. Yesterday, the White House released a memo on the phone conversation, which you can read here.

The impeachment process can take months, as we’ve seen from the three previous U.S. presidents who have had the impeachment process initiated against them. For Andrew Johnson, the entire process lasted 94 days from first congressional action to Senate acquittal. For Richard Nixon, it lasted 184 days. The House approved the impeachment inquiry on February 6, 1974 and Nixon announced his resignation on August 8, 1974. For Bill Clinton, the process lasted 127 days from the time the House approved the impeachment inquiry until the Senate acquitted him.

Resources on Impeachment in HeinOnline


To begin, our most resourceful database containing impeachment information for U.S. presidents can be found in the U.S. Presidential Library. This database contains Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Public Papers of the Presidents, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, and other documents related to U.S. Presidents. One of the subcollections, titled Impeachment in the United States, features impeachment documents for Richard Nixon, Andrew Johnson, and William Clinton.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set

Spanning more than two centuries, the U.S. Congressional Serial Set allows users to locate House and Senate Documents, House and Senate Reports, the American State Papers, and much more. Enter the U.S. Congressional Serial Set and use the Advanced Search option to research Nixon’s impeachment. Use the search below to find the seven-volume report issued by the Senate Watergate Committee in 1974, which conducted the most comprehensive investigation ever performed by Congress.

Looking for a specific event from within the report? Look no further! Use the magnifying glass icon above the report to search for a specific word or phrase. For example, run a search for “Camp David trip” to be directed to that portion of the report.

For even more information on researching the Nixon Watergate scandal, view this recent blog post.

Law Journal Library

Although the news of Trump’s impeachment inquiry just broke, this is not the first time during his term the concept has been discussed. The Mueller investigation and the release of the Mueller Report detailing Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election were both highly controversial. Let’s see what we can find in the Law Journal Library about these hot topics.

Use the Full Text tab and enter “Trump Mueller Russia election”~40 to run a proximity search. Results include:

Similar to proximity searching, users can also use proximity connectors to search for words within a sentence, a paragraph, or a segment. For example, to find the words Trump and impeachment within the same paragraph, use the Full Text tab to search for Trump w/p impeachment.

Results include these articles on our hot topic:

Like what you see? Click the More Like This button when viewing an article to find similar articles. For example, let’s say while researching the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton you stumble upon an article titled, The Historical and Constitutional Significance of the Impeachment Trial of President ClintonSimply click the More Like This button to view similar articles!

This tool uses a program which pulls out “interesting words” as determined by an algorithm, from the article being viewed. Adjust the boost factors of the interesting words, add a new term, or select a date range to modify the search results.

These are just some examples of resources within HeinOnline for researching impeachment, but there is so much more so keep exploring! A quick search using the Catalog tab in HeinOnline for “Impeachment Process” OR “Impeachment President”~20 returns results in multiple databases.

Want to learn more about the impeachment process? Check out these two recently added CRS Reports:

The U.S. Congressional Documents database also includes the full statement Joe Biden made on the Senate floor on April 10, 1974 about Richard Nixon. You never know what you might find in HeinOnline!

For any help searching or navigating HeinOnline, contact our decided support team at (800) 277-6995, email us, or chat with us!

Want to become a searching guru? Check out this informative blog to learn all the different ways to construct a search in HeinOnline.

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