Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Benjamin Franklin (170690)
Dr. Franklin was for retaining the clause [on impeachment], as favorable to the executive. History furnishes one example only of a first magistrate being formally brought to public justice. Every body cried out against this as unconstitutional. What was the practice before this, in cases where the chief magistrate rendered himself obnoxious? Why, recourse was had to assassination, in which he was not only deprived of his life, but of the opportunity of vindicating his character. It would be the best way, therefore, to provide in the Constitution for the regular punishment of the executive, where his misconduct should deserve it, and for his honorable acquittal, where he should be unjustly accused.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, debates in the Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 20, 1787.James Madison, Debates on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, ed. Jonathan Elliot, vol. 5, pp. 34041 (1845).