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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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

Here's the price Mitt Romney is paying for standing against Trump

SALT LAKE CITY — One man is an island: Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah. The 72-year-old former Republican presidential nominee has isolated himself from Republicans in the Senate, in his home state and across the country by occasionally — but strongly — criticizing President Donald Trump, including the president's efforts to enlist the aid of foreign governments to probe a leading political opponent.

In recent weeks, the senator's acts of rebellion against the commander in chief have been flagrant: from publicly confirming "Pierre Delecto" as the secret identity he used to counter Trump on Twitter to bashing Trump's Syria policy on the Senate floor to positioning himself on the front edge of any move by GOP lawmakers to break away and either censure the president or vote to remove him from office if the House follows through with impeachment.

While that House-side inquiry has put a heat lamp on Republican senators from states where voters aren't thrilled with the president's actions — particularly swing-state lawmakers who are up for re-election in 2020 — Romney's criticism of Trump hasn't prompted those colleagues to follow him into the political no-man's land of finding fault with both the president's conduct and the divisiveness of impeachment. Rather, it has renewed speculation among GOP critics in Washington and in Utah that Romney has ulterior motives — jealousy, retribution, Oval Office ambition or some potent mix of all three. 

Read the full story here.

More witnesses on deck for Wednesday

Two more witnesses have been scheduled to testify Wednesday before the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry: Catherine Croft, a special adviser for Ukraine at the State Department, and Christopher Anderson, a former aide to former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker.

Kathryn Wheelbarger, acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, is already scheduled to give a deposition Wednesday.

Justice Dept. appeals ruling it must turn over Mueller grand jury materials

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Monday that it will appeal a federal judge's order requiring the government to give the House of Representatives grand jury material gathered during former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian election meddling and possible obstruction by President Donald Trump.

Federal District Court Judge Beryl Howell ruled Friday that a completely unredacted version of Mueller's final report, as well as underlying evidence backing up its conclusions, must be turned over to the House by Wednesday. House Democrats sued to get the material, saying they need it for their impeachment inquiry.

The Justice Department also asked Howell to put a hold on his own ruling.

Once the grand jury material is turned over, DOJ said, "it cannot be recalled, and the confidentiality of the grand jury information will be lost for all time." That's especially so, the government said, if the House decides to make any of the material public, which House leaders have said they have the power to do by majority vote.

Read the full story here.

Ex-Trump deputy national security adviser Kupperman a no-show for testimony

WASHINGTON — Former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman will not appear for a scheduled deposition Monday before three House congressional committees involved in leading the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, House Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Monday.

The White House is trying to block Kupperman's appearance, and the ex-deputy national security adviser filed a lawsuit Friday asking a federal judge to rule on whether he must testify under a congressional subpoena.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters it was "deeply regrettable" that Kupperman, a longtime associated of former national security adviser John Bolton, was a "no-show," adding, "He was compelled to appear with a lawful congressional subpoena. Witnesses like Dr. Kupperman need to do their duty and show up."

Kupperman's refusal to appear "may warrant a contempt proceeding against him," Schiff said.

Read the full story.

Biden talks Trump allegations, calls president 'an idiot' for Russia comments

Joe Biden said President Donald Trump has "no integrity" when he targets the former vice president's family on the campaign trail.

"I've never discussed my business or their business, my son's or daughter's. And I've never discussed them because they know where I have to do my job and that's it, and they have to make their own judgments," the 2020 candidate said in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday. "He's a grown man. And it turns out he did not do a single thing wrong, as everybody's investigated."

Biden also called Trump is “an idiot” for calling Russia’s election interference a “hoax,” and says it’s clear the president and the Russians are aligned in wanting to keep the former vice president from winning in 2020.

Read the full story here.

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A Kupperman cliffhanger

It’s a congressional cliffhanger: Will former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman appear for his scheduled deposition today?

Kupperman, a longtime associate of former national security adviser John Bolton, has emerged as a key witness in the impeachment inquiry. House investigators believe he has firsthand knowledge of President Donald Trump's decisions regarding Ukraine. The White House is trying to block his appearance, and Kupperman filed a lawsuit Friday asking a federal judge to rule on whether he must testify.

The Democratic chairs of the committees leading the impeachment inquiry said in a letter to Kupperman’s attorney that the lawsuit was "lacking in legal merit" and warned that Kupperman’s “absence will constitute evidence that may be used  against him in a contempt proceeding.”

Kupperman’s attorney responded late Saturday in a letter obtained by NBC News. It reads in part, “As stated in the complaint, it would not be appropriate for a private citizen like Dr. Kupperman to unilaterally resolve this momentous Constitutional dispute between the two political branches of our government. … The proper course for Dr. Kupperman, we respectfully submit, is to lay the conflicting positions before the court and abide by the court’s judgment as to which is correct.”

Kupperman’s attorney did not respond to our inquiries about whether his client will appear today.

John Kelly says he told Trump a 'yes man' would get him impeached

President Donald Trump is denying that his former chief of staff, John Kelly, ever warned him that he would be impeached if he hired a lackey to replace the former four-star general.

"John Kelly never said that, he never said anything like that," Trump said in a statement after Kelly discussed his warning. "If he would have said that I would have thrown him out of the office. He just wants to come back into the action like everybody else does."

Kelly said Saturday that before departing the White House he privately told Trump not to hire a "yes man." "I said, whatever you do, don't hire a 'yes man,' someone who won’t tell you the truth. Don’t do that. Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached," Kelly said at the conservative Washington Examiner Political Summit.

Kelly resigned in January and was replaced by Mick Mulvaney, an acting chief of staff whose tenure is clouded by news conference earlier this month in which his main talking points — that next year's Group of Seven summit would be hosted at Trump's Miami resort and that the president held up aid to Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate a political rival — were essentially walked back.

Read the full story here.

Diplomat Phillip Reeker offers details on ouster of Amb. Yovanovitch

WASHINGTON — Career diplomat Phillip Reeker told congressional investigators behind closed doors what he knew about the ouster of Amb. Marie Yovanovitch, according to a source with direct knowledge of his testimony in the impeachment inquiry.

Yovanovitch, a well-respected expert on Ukraine, has said that she was fired by the direction of President Donald Trump at the recommendation of Rudy Giuliani.

Reeker told Congressional investigators that he and his colleagues in the European Bureau at the State Department attempted to put out a proactive statement in support of Amb. Marie “Masha” Yovanovich but they were told by Undersecretary David Hale to not issue it, according to a person familiar with his testimony.

Read the full story here.

Giuliani butt dial story inspires ridicule, envy on social media

Rudy Giuliani's role in Trump's effort to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden is serious business and could play a big role in the congressional impeachment inquiry against the president.

But that hasn't stopped journalists, pundits and observers from having a little fun — through a limerick and other jesting tweets — with Giuliani's latest predicament: his inadvertent voicemail messages left on an NBC News reporter's phone by what  is colloquially known as a butt dial.

Others expressed jealousy over the call: "Butt dial me," one journalist wrote.

Read the full story here.

Impeachment hearings depict a quid pro quo that evolved over time

WASHINGTON — Grilled under oath for dozens of hours on Capitol Hill, at least three current and former U.S. officials have all made the same startling admission: A coveted White House visit for the new Ukrainian leader had been explicitly conditioned on his agreeing to investigations that could have helped President Donald Trump’s re-election.

And when Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, was asked point blank, under oath, whether that constituted a "quid pro quo," he did not dispute it, people with knowledge of his testimony said.

As impeachment proceedings march forward, a string of conflicting narratives from Trump, U.S. officials and the Ukrainians has centered on a different question: whether Trump ever overtly linked a freeze in military aid with his demand that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy investigate his political opponents — and when the Ukrainians learned of it. Trump and many Republicans argue that if the Ukrainians were in the dark, any allegation of wrongdoing by Trump falls apart.

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Article II: Inside Impeachment — 'The Master Strategist'

On Friday's episode, Article II looks at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy on impeachment. Host Steve Kornacki talks to Frank Thorpe V, producer and off-air congressional reporter for NBC News, about the Senate resolution condemning the impeachment inquiry.

Download the episode here.