EVENT ENDED

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.
Image: Impeachment live blog
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE

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

Download the NBC News mobile app for the latest news on the impeachment inquiry

Live Blog

McConnell talks impeachment trial

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., went into detail Wednesday on how a Senate trial would go if the House impeaches President Donald Trump. 

“Under the impeachment rules of the Senate, we will take the matter up,” McConnell said at a weekly leadership news conference following a closed-door luncheon with Senate Republicans. “The chief justice will be in the chair. We will have to convene every day, six days out of seven at 12:30 or one o'clock in the afternoon. Senators will not be allowed to speak, which should be good therapy for a number of them. And we intend to do our constitutional responsibility.”

The Constitution provides the Senate with the power to try impeachments, acting as a court to consider evidence, hear witnesses and determine whether the impeached person should be convicted. A two-thirds vote of the Senate — 67 members — is required for conviction. Democrats, who have 47 members, would have a lot of convincing to do among Republicans, most of whom are defending the president, to reach that threshold.

McConnell claimed earlier in the news conference that House Democrats are “denying due process to the president,” which he said could be fixed if the House voted on the opening of the impeachment inquiry. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., however, made clear Tuesday night that she doesn’t plan to hold a vote given that the investigation is already underway.

Today in The Inquiry: McKinley testifies

Michael McKinley, who recently resigned as senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, testified to Congress on Wednesday as part of the House impeachment inquiry. Republicans have roundly criticized House Democrats for what they say is a secret process being carried out behind closed doors. What's happening behind the scenes? NBC News correspondent Geoff Bennett, NBC News national political reporter Josh Lederman and Washington Post White House reporter Ashley Parker join Katy Tur to discuss.

House Democrats ask U.S. ambassador to Ukraine to appear for questioning

Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor left Kyiv, Ukraine on Wednesday for Washington D.C. after House Democrats requested he appear for a Tuesday deposition in the investigation into President Trump’s alleged misconduct involving Ukraine, NBC News has confirmed.

In a packet of text messages released by House Democrats last week, Taylor on Sept. 9 remarked that it would be “crazy” to link Ukraine military assistance to help with Trump’s political campaign, something that was hinted at in the messages. "I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign," Taylor said in a text.

Nearly five hours later, Sondland — a Republican donor who has no experience in diplomacy or foreign policy, responded after speaking with the president, writing, "Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind.”

Read more on what Democrats are hoping to learn from Taylor here.

Romney says Trump administration should respond to congressional subpoenas

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told NBC News Wednesday that the Trump administration "needs to respond appropriately to subpoenas."

"I’m not going to get between the White House and the House as to that process, but it is essential that people respond to subpoenas that come from Congress," Romney said, responding to a question about the issue on Capitol Hill. 

This comes as Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, defied demands from Congress yesterday to turn over documents relating to Ukraine. In a Tuesday letter to the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that he will not comply with a subpoena related to House Democrats' impeachment inquiry. 

Vice President Mike Pence, while not subpoenaed, also rejected congressional requests for documents.

Romney, who most recently condemned the president on Twitter for his “brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine," was one of the first Republican senators to denounce Trump's call on foreign governments to investigate his political opponents. 

Defense Secretary Mark Esper will no longer comply with impeachment inquiry

Defense Secretary Mark Esper will not comply with a subpoena from House Democrats related to their impeachment inquiry, according to a letter sent Tuesday to Democratic leadership from the Department of Defense.

In the letter to the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, the Pentagon cites a “number of legal and practical concerns” as their reason for not complying. They include the House not officially voting to authorize an impeachment inquiry and that some of the information the House is requesting “appears to consist of confidential Executive Branch communications that are potentially protected by executive privilege.”

Read more here.

White House conducting review of Trump Ukraine call

A senior administration official confirms that the White House is conducting an internal review of the process surrounding that July 25th phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The New York Times first reported the review and adds that it’s centering in on why a deputy White House counsel, John Eisenberg, "placed a rough transcript of the call in a computer system typically reserved for the country’s most closely guarded secrets."

Conservatives head to Capitol secure area to try to read Volker transcript

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday tried to view a transcript of the closed-door deposition earlier this month with former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker in a classified area on Capitol Hill. 

Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., tweeted a photo of him and some of his colleagues heading to that area. 

Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, told reporters that they were not able to see the transcript — though he said they were told Tuesday that they would be able to read it at noon — and are waiting for staff. 

Volker made an unexpected return to the hill Wednesday morning to review the transcript of his more than nine-hour testimony before three House congressional committees on October 3. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters Tuesday that Democrats would eventually make transcripts of the depositions public. 

Fourth man arrested on illegal foreign donation charges

Two senior law enforcement officials say that David Correia, one of the four people indicted in an alleged scheme to funnel foreign money and violate FEC laws, was taken into custody after arriving at New York's JFK airport this morning.

Correia and another man were charged last week along with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman in a scheme to "circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence," according to court documents.

Parnas and Fruman, who are associates of Rudy Giuliani, were previously taken into custody, along with a fourth man, Andrew Kukushkin.

Law enforcement officials say that Parnas and Fruman had booked a one-way ticket to Europe and were taken into custody at Dulles airport.

NBC's timeline of impeachment events

Read key developments in the investigation of President Donald Trump here.

A timeline of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and the Ukraine backstory.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News; Getty Images; AP; Reuters

Majority support Trump impeachment & removal, poll shows

WASHINGTON — Gallup is out with a new poll Wednesday that shows a slight majority of Americans favoring Trump’s impeachment and removal from office.

Currently, 52 percent say Trump should be impeached and removed compared to 46 percent who say he should not be. Gallup notes that these results are roughly the opposite of what they found in June when the same question was asked in the context of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. 

The poll also shows that American’s approval for Congress has increased to 25 percent compared to 18 percent back in September, prior to when House Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry.