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 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
- Trump is acquitted by the Senate on both articles of impeachment, with one GOP defector.
- Senate moves to impeachment trial endgame.
- Senators ask final questions before critical vote on witnesses.
- Senators probe prosecution, defense.
- The president's defense delivers closing arguments.
- Trump's legal team digs in.
- The president's defense begins.
- Democrats make case for obstruction.
- Trump impeached by the House on both articles of impeachment.
- Impeachment inquiry witnesses testify: Marie Yovanovitch, Alexander Vindman, Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland, Fiona Hill and others.
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Democratic lawmaker concerned that Sondland 'has been less than truthful'
E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland isn’t filling in as many gaps as lawmakers would have hoped, telling House committees that he can’t recall various details surrounding the Ukraine scandal, according to three sources present for parts of his ongoing testimony Thursday.
"A lot of memory lapses," said one lawmaker who was in the room.
As she emerged from the closed door deposition with Sondland, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fl., told NBC News that, "I'm concerned that he has been less than truthful throughout the day."
"I mean some of the things that he says he doesn't remember, it would be very hard to believe that he didn't remember, I mean very specific things that, you know, are unique to different situations that they've discussed throughout the day. And unless has the worst memory. Or, and is, you know, far more far more incompetent than than one would think an ambassador to the European Union should be," she said.
Yet two of the sources described Sondland as eager to distance himself from other players, especially Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Sondland framed his contact with Giuliani as "very minimal" said a second lawmaker who said "Sondland was "walking a tightrope" in revealing information advantageous to himself but not recalling other details.
The lawmakers said his testimony did not appear designed to harm President Donald Trump so much as to insulate Sondland from the scandal.
New poll: 54% support House's decision to open impeachment inquiry
A new poll from the Pew Research Center finds that a majority — 54 percent — of American adults approve of the House’s decision to begin an impeachment inquiry, while 44 percent disapprove.
The same poll found that a 58 percent majority says Trump definitely or probably has done things that are “grounds for impeachment.”
And it showed a lack of confidence in both parties when it comes to handling the impeachment inquiry. Fifty-seven percent say they are not confident that Republicans in Congress will be fair and reasonable during the inquiry, while 52 percent say the same of Democrats.
The Pew survey questioned a panel of respondents, which allows for re-asking the same questions to the same people at different points in time. Overall, nine percent of adults who opposed the impeachment proceedings early last month now approve of the House’s decision to open the inquiry.
Of that nine percent, 61 percent are Democrats or independents who lean toward the Democratic Party, while 32 percent are Republicans or independents who lean toward the Republican Party.
Mulvaney acknowledges Trump held up Ukraine aid partly for political reasons
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Thursday acknowledged that President Donald Trump held up aid to Ukraine partly over a debunked conspiracy theory involving the 2016 election.
"We do that all the time," he told reporters at a rare briefing.
"Get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy," he added. The question of whether the assistance was held up for political reasons is at the heart of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi says she has 'no idea' about impeachment timetable. She's not alone.
It is anyone's guess when the impeachment process might conclude.
The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees have another full week of closed-door depositions lined up and there could be more to come. Intel Chairman Adam Schiff has said he also intends to hold open hearings.
Only then would action shift to the House Judiciary Committee, which would take up the work of the investigative committees, likely hold its own hearings, mark up and vote on the article(s). In past impeachments, the mark-up alone has taken several days. Only then would the full House debate the articles, then vote.
"Everyone that I talk to would like this to be done in 2019," Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the Oversight Vommittee, told reporters on Wednesday. "The problem is that the president is a one-man crime wave, and he's generated a number of arguably impeachable offenses, and we have a responsibility to research those."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was even more blunt on Thursday when asked about the timeline: "I have no idea...The path, the timeline, will depend on the truth-line."
If and when any articles are sent to the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Wednesday he would act on them quickly.
A Christmas conclusion to the impeachment process is clearly on the mind of senators — for whom few things sharpen the mind more than the prospect of getting home for a holiday recess.
Bottom line? Don't make holiday plans yet.
Sondland's lawyers say he can't turn over subpoenaed docs
NBC News has obtained a copy of a letter that Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s lawyers sent to House committees this morning explaining why he’s unable to give them the documents they’ve subpoenaed, but wishes the Trump administration would.
Sondland has turned over all relevant documents to the State Department “regardless of the device or platform on which they were created,” the lawyers wrote. That’s a reference to the fact that, as NBC News has previously reported, Sondland often used his personal cellphone to conduct diplomatic conversations and also communicated with WhatsApp.
But the sought-after records belong to the State Department, and by law and regulation, Sondland can’t produce them on his own, his lawyers wrote. The State Department “has directed Ambassador Sondland and other similarly situated employees not to provide documents without State Department’s approval,” they wrote.
“Ambassador Sondland has encouraged the State Department to provide the Committees with the requested documents in advance of his deposition," the lawyers wrote. "He strongly believes that disclosure will lead to a more fulsome and accurate inquiry into the matters at issue and will corroborate the testimony that he will give in key respects."
Read Sondland's 18-page statement to impeachment investigators
Sondland to testify Trump directed Giuliani to push Ukraine scheme
WASHINGTON — U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland will tell Congress on Thursday that Rudy Giuliani told him President Donald Trump wanted Ukraine’s new government to investigate both the 2016 election and a natural gas firm tied to Hunter Biden, according to prepared testimony obtained by NBC News.
Sondland will testify that Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, even mentioned getting the Ukrainians to investigate "the DNC server" — a reference to a Democratic National Committee computer that plays prominently in a debunked conspiracy theory about Ukrainian interference in 2016.
The ambassador is expected to tell House investigators that he ultimately learned that Giuliani, far from freelancing, was advancing Trump’s goals when he pushed for Ukraine to investigate the president’s political opponents.
More Trump admin officials to be deposed next week
Several Trump administration officials are scheduled to appear for depositions next week as part of the impeachment inquiry, according to two Hill staffers. They include:
- Kathryn Wheelbarger, acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.
- Philip Reeker, acting assistant secretary of European and Eurasian affairs, on Oct. 23.
- Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council, on Oct. 24.
- Timothy Morrison, top Russia adviser at the National Security Council; and Suriya Jayanti, a foreign service officer in Kiev, on Oct. 25.
Acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor is already scheduled to testify before House investigators on Oct. 22.