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Trump impeachment: Analysis and news on the House charges and Senate acquittal of the president

The Senate trial on the two articles of impeachment against Trump, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, ended with acquittal on both charges.
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Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

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The fast-moving impeachment of President Donald Trump, stemming from his dealings with Ukraine, moved to the Senate for trial in January after the House voted a month earlier to adopt two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The Senate voted in early February to acquit the president on both charges.

Trump's impeachment followed weeks of testimony related to his efforts to press Ukraine for investigations into Democratic rivals and hours of fiery debate over the process.

Trump is only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. Read all of the 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

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Live Blog

Schiff says there have been 'significant breaks in the White House firewall'

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Monday that "there have been real breaks, significant breaks in the White House firewall" despite the Trump administration's efforts to stonewall the impeachment inquiry.

But Schiff said he and his Democratic colleagues "fully expect on things that are more within" the administration's "control, they will stonewall us."

Schiff praised ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, former Trump Russia aide Fiona Hill and others who have obeyed House subpoenas. On Tuesday, Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani told ABC News he did not plan to comply with the subpoena aimed at his work in Ukraine. 

Rudy Giuliani will not comply with congressional subpoena

Rudy Giuliani won't comply with a congressional subpoena as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, an attorney for Giuliani told House investigators in a letter on Tuesday.

Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, had been subpoenaed for documents related to his work in Ukraine, which has come under intense scrutiny after Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Last week, two of Giuliani's business associates who had been assisting him in his Ukrainian venture were arrested on campaign-finance charges.

Jon Sale, Giuliani's attorney for purposes of handling the subpoena, wrote that the former New York City mayor "will not participate because this appears to be an unconstitutional, baseless, and illegitimate 'impeachment inquiry.'" Sale called the subpoena "overbroad, unduly burdensome, and seeks documents beyond the scope of legitimate inquiry."

Read more here.

Trump says Democrats are 'too busy' with impeachment to pass trade deals

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump brought up the impeachment inquiry during an event in the Rose Garden on Tuesday afternoon honoring the 2019 Stanley Cup champions, the St. Louis Blues. 

Ticking off a number of trade negotiations — from Japan to Mexico to China — Trump lamented that despite his efforts, such deals may never get congressional approval.

"I doubt they will because it's Nancy Pelosi," Trump said of the potential blockage in Congress. "They're too busy working on impeachment."

"And by the way, we just hit the greatest economy we've ever had. 'Let's impeach the president. Isn't that a good idea?'” Trump continued, mocking House Democrats. "I wouldn't worry about it, fellas," he added.

 

Poll shows impeachment danger for Susan Collins

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican in a blue state, is facing a potential lose-lose situation on impeachment, according to a new poll Tuesday of what is expected to be one of next year's most competitive Senate races. 

Collins has so far stayed neutral on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, but there is peril for her no matter which side she chooses, according to a new survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, one of the few polls of the race so far.

If Collins supports impeachment, her already soft numbers with Republicans weaken dramatically: Just 35 of Republicans say they would want to re-nominate Collins, while 55 percent said they would prefer a different GOP candidate. But if Collins opposes impeachment, she would lose some of her cross-over support from Democrats, and her 3 point deficit against a generic Democratic candidate would grow to 7 percentage points.

Collins' leading Democratic opponent, state House Speaker Sara Gideon, announced raising $3.2 million in the third quarter of the year Tuesday, while Collins said her campaign raised less than that -- $2.1 million -- but has $7.1 million in the back.

NBC News wrote about the Collins race and impeachment earlier this month.

House Democrats consider formal floor vote to authorize impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON — House Democratic leaders are reaching out to members in swing districts to gauge their support for an official vote on the House floor to open an impeachment inquiry, two sources told NBC News.

Leadership is contacting the most vulnerable members first and then will discuss with the larger caucus as early as tonight at their 6:00 pm ET caucus meeting.

House Republicans and the White House have been demanding an official vote to open an inquiry. The White House has said it won't cooperate with Democrats demands until they do.  

While this would be a significant development to make the inquiry more official, Democrats have argued that it is not necessary as deemed by the Constitution.

Republicans would like a vote to officially open the inquiry because it could give them more rights, including subpoena power.

Majority of college students support impeachment inquiry, new poll shows

Three quarters of all college students support the impeachment inquiry, according to a new poll out today from Axios/College Reaction Poll.

That includes 97 percent of college Democrats and a large majority of Independents, 76 percent. 

But only about one in five, or 22 percent, of college Republicans favor the inquiry. 

Despite the party polarization, college students are still more likely than adults to support impeachment. 

And those numbers are up across all party affiliations from their last poll in May, with the biggest movement among Independents, +32 percent, who now support impeachment as much as Democrats did 3 months ago.

Bolton wanted White House lawyers alerted to Ukrainian efforts, called it 'drug deal,' witness tells Congress

Former national security adviser John Bolton was so disturbed by the efforts to get the Ukrainians to investigate President Donald Trump’s political opponents that he called it a “drug deal,” former White House official Fiona Hill reportedly told Congress on Monday.

Hill, the former top Europe expert in Trump’s White House, testified that Bolton told her over the summer that he wanted no part of the effort, which he said involved acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, a person in the room for Hill’s testimony told NBC News.

Bolton also was said to have referred to Rudy Giuliani as a "hand grenade."

Click here to read more.

State department official responsible for Ukraine to testify Tuesday

House committees are today set to hear from George Kent, the State Department official responsible for Ukraine, who was among those raising red flags about Rudy Giuliani’s smear campaign against ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

On Wednesday, House investigators will interview with Michael McKinley, the former de facto chief of staff to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who resigned over what was seen as Pompeo’s failure to support career officials  targeted in the Ukraine controversy.

House investigators plan to round out the week by calling in Laura Cooper, a career Defense Department official responsible for Russia and Ukraine policy. She’s expected to offer insight regarding the withheld military aid — the first witness to focus on the aid itself.

E.U. ambassador to testify that ex-Ukraine ambassador was 'great' despite Trump ouster

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland will tell Congress on Thursday that he thought former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was "great" and that he has nothing negative to say about her job performance, despite her ouster by President Donald Trump.

A person with knowledge of Sondland’s testimony tells NBC News that Yovanovitch was an able and professional diplomat, and that he had no issues with her whatsoever. The person spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity.

Click here to read the full story from NBC News.

Congressman: GOP 'darn lucky' Fiona Hill deposition wasn't public

After leaving the closed door deposition with Fiona Hill, Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., spoke to reporters on camera. When asked about releasing transcripts he said "at an appropriate time in the future they will be released." He added "these are not hearings. They are depositions."

Heck also said Republicans "are darn lucky these weren’t public."