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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

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

Live Blog

Rudy Giuliani butt-dials NBC reporter, heard discussing need for cash and trashing Bidens

Late in the evening on Oct. 16, Rudy Giuliani made a phone call to this reporter.

The fact that Giuliani was reaching out wasn’t remarkable. He and the reporter had spoken earlier that night for a story about his ties to a fringe Iranian opposition group. But this call, it would soon become clear, wasn’t a typical case of a source following up with a reporter.

The call came in at 11:07 p.m. and went to voicemail; the reporter was asleep. The next morning, a message exactly three minutes long was sitting in his voicemail. In the recording, the words tumbling out of Giuliani’s mouth were not directed at the reporter. He was speaking to someone else, someone in the same room.

The call appeared to be one of the most unfortunate of faux pas: what is known, in casual parlance, as a butt dial. And it wasn’t the first time it had happened. ... 

Read the full story.

Watchdogs at gov't agencies blast DOJ for not referring Ukraine whistleblower to Congress

WASHINGTON — Dozens of inspectors general across the federal government have signed a letter repudiating the Justice Department's legal opinion that the original complaint by a CIA whistleblower about President Donald Trump's conversation with Ukraine's president did not have to be turned over to Congress.

In a strongly worded statement written by the inspector general of the Justice Department, the inspectors general portrayed the opinion by the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel as dangerously wrong and severely damaging to whistleblower protections.

"The OLC opinion, if not withdrawn or modified, could seriously undermine the critical role whistleblowers play in coming forward to report waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct across the federal government," the independent watchdogs said.

Read the full story.

Trump dismisses need for impeachment advisers: 'I'm the team'

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed the need for additional help in countering Democrats' impeachment efforts despite pleas from outside advisers for a more coordinated response coming from the White House.

In a comments reminiscent of his "I alone can fix it" declaration during his Inauguration, Trump told reporters gathered on the White House South Law that he will be the one leading the fight when it comes to responding to impeachment.

"Here's the thing. I don't have teams, everyone's talking about teams," Trump said. "I'm the team. I did nothing wrong."

Read the full story.

Analysis: Republicans' absurd complaints about impeachment inquiry access are historically ignorant

Republican criticism of the ongoing impeachment inquiry process for deposing witnesses in closed-door sessions is absurd — and that was before they held a news conference Wednesday and stormed a secure hearing room, interrupting the testimony of a Pentagon official.

The GOP has cited two alleged shortcomings in the inquiry procedure: Members of Congress who do not serve on the three committees hearing testimony are barred from attending; and the depositions are not being held in a public session.

Both criticisms are baseless, because members of Congress today have a much greater role in obtaining evidence than the Judiciary Committee members had in the Nixon impeachment inquiry in 1974, and the chairman has said that the testimony will, indeed, be heard in public during the investigatory process.

Read former House Judiciary Committee counsel Michael Conway's full analysis here.

Warner calls for Barr to come before Congress over DOJ's probe into Russia investigation

Deputy national security adviser's testimony to bring inquiry within Bolton's orbit

As NBC News has reported, House investigators would like to interview former national security adviser John Bolton as part of their impeachment inquiry. Next week’s scheduled interview with former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman, brings the inquiry closer into Bolton’s orbit.

Scheduled testimony from Tim Morrison, senior director for Europe and Russia at the National Security Council, provides House investigators with direct insight from someone who typically would have listened in on the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy — a central focus of the whistleblower complaint that led to the inquiry.

Multiple lawmakers tell NBC News that House investigators thought it necessary to interview Morrison after top diplomat to Ukraine Bill Taylor referenced him multiple times during his closed-door session last week.

Here's the updated depositions schedule:

  • Due to services honoring the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., no depositions will be held Friday. 
  • Philip Reeker, acting assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, is expected to give a private deposition on Saturday. 
  • Kupperman is expected to appear in closed session Monday.
  • Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European affairs at the National Security Council, is expected to appear Tuesday.
  • Kathryn Wheelbarger, acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, is expected to appear Wednesday.
  • Morrison is expected to appear Thursday.

New poll: Americans split down party lines on impeachment

Americans are evenly divided on whether President Donald Trump should be impeached. Forty-nine percent think he should be impeached and removed from office and 49 percent are against it, according to results from a new NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll.

Voters are sharply divided along party lines. Nine in 10 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are against impeachment and 89 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners are in favor of impeachment. Independents who don’t lean toward either party are more split with a 53 percent majority saying Trump should be impeached and 44 percent saying he should not.

Read the full story here.

John Bolton's lawyers have been in contact with House committees leading inquiry

National security adviser John Bolton with President Trump in the Oval Office on Sept. 28, 2018.Oliver Contreras / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

Former national security adviser John Bolton's lawyers have been in contact with officials on the committees leading the impeachment inquiry, a person close to Bolton has confirmed to NBC News.

Investigators in the inquiry have negotiated with a Bolton lawyer about a date for a closed-door deposition, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing two people briefed on the matter.

Bolton wanted no part of the President Donald Trump's alleged attempts to pressure the president of Ukraine to investigate what has been described as a conspiracy theory about interference in the 2016 election, as well as into former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, NBC News has reported. 

Bolton told top White House official Fiona Hill to report the situation to the top lawyer at the National Security Council, John Eisenberg, according to the person in the room for Hill’s closed-door testimony last week.

Thursday's biggest impeachment-related news

If you're just catching up on the news, here are some of the biggest impeachment-related stories on Thursday you may have missed:

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a resolution backed by more than 40 GOP senators excoriating House Democrats' impeachment inquiry, accusing Democrats of violating due process for interviewing key witnesses behind closed doors.
  • A probe by Attorney General William Barr into the origins of the Russia investigation has changed from an administrative review into a criminal investigation, a person familiar with the review confirmed to NBC News.
  • One stunning moment during a top diplomat's testimony this week may prove pivotal to the congressional impeachment inquiry and even led to gasps in the room, according to one source who was present.