In 1963, returning from its Christmas recess, Congress immediately takes up debate on the impeachment resolutions against President John F. Kennedy and Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren in mid-December. The balance of power in the incoming Eighty-eighth Congress has shifted, and not in favor of the President and Chief Justice.
Although the Democratic Party has retaken control of the House of Representatives, many of the new members are hard-line' conservatives elected by Southern voters angry over court decisions favoring school integration and President Kennedy's decision to use federal troops to enforce compliance with those rulings at the University of Mississippi and to put down the massive anti-integration rioting throughout the South the previous October, which has been dubbed the "Southern Crisis" in the press.
In the Senate, Democrats' conservative wing has strengthened its ties with right-wing Republicans. Some observers believe there is a real chance that one or both of the impeachment resolutions may actually succeed.
Sensing the new climate, the Ku Klux Klan has stepped up its activities, prompting President Kennedy to order FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to attempt to undermine the KKK.
Hoover is reluctant: a staunch segregationist himself, and no fan of JFK, he will comply only reluctantly - and even when he does, he will also secretly launch an effort to gather dirt on prominent civil rights activists in order to discredit them and their movement.