The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump on both articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The vote followed weeks of testimony related to his dealings with Ukraine and hours of fiery debate over the process.
Trump is only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. Follow us here for all of the latest breaking news and analysis on impeachment from NBC News' political reporters, as well as our teams on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
TRUMP IMPEACHMENT HIGHLIGHTS
- From solemnity to anger to hyperbole, here are some of the buzziest lines from the historic House debate on Wednesday.
- President Trump sent a rambling six-page letter Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling Congress' impeachment inquiry a partisan “crusade,” an “unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power” and a “spiteful” “election-nullification scheme.” Click here to read the full letter.
- The House Judiciary Committee released its full 658-page report just after midnight Sunday, in which the majority calls Trump the "Framers' worst nightmare."
- Read the details revealed in the House Intelligence Committee's weeks of impeachment hearings.
Former Senate Majority Leader Lott: 'Shut up and wait till you see all the facts'
Former Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., who served as Senate majority leader during Clinton's impeachment trial, met with Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., on Wednesday to prepare him for the upcoming trial in the Senate.
“He was my chief deputy whip, and the whip does have a possible role in all of this,” Lott said. “We talked mostly about history, how did we get through it last time, without a lot of blood. But remember, I do make the point to everybody, it was a different time, different media and different people.”
Lott, 78, was also a member of Congress during the Nixon impeachment, which he told NBC News was the toughest vote he ever cast.
“My advice to people would be shut up and wait till you see all the facts," he said. "If I’d kept my mouth shut 10 more days, Nixon was gone and I’d never have to stick my neck out. But in my 35 years in Congress, that was the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
For Clinton's impeachment, Lott said he and Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., had to agree on the structure of the trial to ensure that it was fair and neither side had any procedural advantage.
“They’re going to have to find a way to get it done, they’re not getting off to a great start, I don’t think,” Lott told NBC News. “Great advantage I had, was that I had Tom Daschle. He was fair, he was honest, we worked very closely through the whole process. And I think that made a huge difference. Important moments in history bring people together, whether they want to be or not. They’re going to have to talk about how to proceed. It’s that simple.”
House nearing a vote after 10 hours of debate
After 10 hours of debate, the House of Representatives is nearing an actual vote on impeachment as members of leadership deliver remarks on the two articles of impeachment.
The gallery above the floor of the House is filling up with onlookers, too, as lawmakers near the historic vote.
"Democrats did not choose impeachment," Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, as some GOP members in the House laughed loudly. "We did not want this. However, President Trump's misconduct has forced our Constitutional republic to protect itself."
'End of story': Trump did this to himself, Davis says before walking off
Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., offered a brief summary of her view just after 7 p.m. tonight.
“Make no mistake, we are not impeaching this president. He is impeaching himself. If you are the president, and you obstruct justice, try to bribe a foreign leader, and threaten national security, you’re going to get impeached. End of story,” she said before walking away from the podium.
Welcome brevity in hour 10 of member remarks.
McConnell, Schumer to discuss impeachment by week's end
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that he would meet with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to discuss the path forward on an impeachment trial before the Senate leaves for the holiday recess.
"Before we finish the session, we’ll sit down and talk about the way forward, and hopefully the first phase will be easy to agree to," McConnell said.
The Senate could recess either by the end of the day Thursday or Friday, depending on when it finishes remaining work on spending bills and judicial appointments. The House passed a $1.4 trillion spending package Tuesday that would fund federal agencies through next fall.
Earlier in the day, McConnell said on the Senate floor that he “hoped” he and Schumer could sit down and reach an agreement about whether there should be witnesses in the trial.
Schumer responded shortly after, saying McConnell must “offer one good reason why relevant witnesses shouldn't testify in an impeachment trial of President Trump” and again urged Trump to allow four top aides to testify — former national security adviser John Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior Mulvaney adviser Robert Blair and Michael Duffey, associate director for national security at the Office of Management and Budget.
Zeldin calls impeachment inquiry 'Schiff show' on House floor
Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., alluded to profanity as he called the impeachment inquiry a "Schiff show" while speaking on the House floor against impeachment, riffing on the surname of Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, did not respond to the remark, but smirked. He has drawn the ire of Republicans who claimed he was unfair during the impeachment inquiry and some have called for his resignation, including Trump.
Trump has previously called Schiff "Adam Schitt," in another attempt to pronounce his name as vulgar slang. Republican lawmakers have also previously riffed on his name in the same way.
The House has rules against using profanity on the floor during a debate.
Watching from outside the House Gallery
Maxine Waters: 'This day was not inevitable, but it was predictable'
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., wrapped up three minutes of remarks (a lot of time in this format!).
She went slightly over time and Republicans began to audibly grumble when she wasn’t immediately cut off. When Waters was gaveled out, she jokingly “yielded” time back (that she no longer had), eliciting laughs from the Democratic side of the chamber.
Sen. Lindsey Graham: 'I assured' Trump his legacy would be more than impeachment
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of Trump's closest allies, said Wednesday that he told the president his legacy would stand for more than just the expected House impeachment.
"I talked to him today. I said, 'How you doing?'" Graham told reporters when asked how Trump was feeling. "He said, 'Well, I’m being impeached, but other than that, I'm OK.'"
"I think he's worried about the effect it will have on the presidency itself," Graham added. "But I told him, 'Mr. President, when you look at the last week, we've accomplished some things that would be a great year for any normal president. Your legacy is going to now include being impeached by the House, acquitted by the Senate, the question is will it be more than that,' and I'm sure, I assured him it would."
Graham also said he would push for a quick trial in the Senate, adding that he would not call witnesses being sought by Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
"We’ll listen to the House case, allow the president to make comments through his legal team, then we’ll vote, and the sooner the better for me," Graham said.
"I've made up my mind about the accusations, I’ve seen the transcripts," he said, calling the testimony of Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and others "hearsay upon hearsay. I've never believed this was an impeachable offense."