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Trump impeachment inquiry: Live updates and the latest news

Stay informed about Democrats' impeachment efforts and the Trump administration's responses.
Image: President Donald Trump is facing allegations that he tried to strong-arm a foreign leader into launching an investigation that might hurt Democratic contender Joe Biden. In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed impeachment proceedings.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

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The fast-moving impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, stemming from the president's dealings with Ukraine, involves numerous hearings, depositions and subpoenas of present and former top administration officials and other figures — and more than a few presidential tweets.

Follow us here for all of the latest breaking news and analysis from NBC News' political reporters as well as our teams on Capitol Hill and at the White House.

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Pelosi comments on the impeachment hearing

  • The House speaker called the testimony of two career U.S. diplomats at the first impeachment hearing "evidence of bribery."

The White House looks to be in the impeachment fray, and appear above it

  • White House aides say they think Wednesday's testimony wasn't enough to change the minds of the public — or Republican senators.

How presidential candidates spent the impeachment hearing

  • In the split-screen day, Warren was campaigning in New Hampshire, Joe Biden was meeting with union members in Washington and Andrew Yang appeared on a popular radio show in New York.

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

Live Blog

Meadows blasts impeachment resolution, talks questioning of key witness Vindman

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., blasted the House Democrats' impeachment resolution in remarks to reporters Wednesday. 

“[I]t’s so late in the game... , credible witnesses have been poisoned by what has been reported and leaked out," Meadows said. "What Democrats have done is leaked out a narrative that has tainted some of the witnesses that have come.” He added that the resolution “affords us the same opportunities we have now, which is to beg [Intelligence] Chairman [Adam] Schiff for due process, and last time I checked, that doesn’t qualify as due process."

Meadows, a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, also discussed GOP lawmakers' line of questioning during the testimony of White House Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman on Tuesday, denying accusations that Republicans tried to draw out the whistleblower's identity.

“The majority jumped in to ask the witness not to answer the questions that would potentially be a great benefit to the president of the United States, and it has nothing to do with outing the whistleblower. That’s their narrative,” he said.

“In general terms, I can say we were asking the witness who else did the witness talk to in terms of specific items that are important to the investigation, and the witness indicated that there were more than one, and Chairman Schiff refused to allow those witnesses to be identified,” he said.

Asked if the whistleblower’s anonymity should be protected, Meadows said, “Well, not according to statue, he doesn’t. The reason you have a whistleblower statue is so that they can come forward and not be retaliated against. It’s the reason we have the law.”

State Dept.'s No. 2 pinpoints White House for blocking witness testimony

President Donald Trump's nominee for ambassador to Russia told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday that the State Department's efforts to prevent witnesses from testifying in the House inquiry have been directed by the White House.

Asked by Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Bob Menendez, D-N.J., about the administration's efforts to block witness testimony, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan replied, "I would say that the actions that the department has undertaken, led by the secretary, has been on the advice of counsel — not only State Department counsel, but White House counsel as well, and direction from the White House."

"Why is the department working to prevent employees from testifying before Congress?" Menendez asked.

"Well, we are, as has been laid out in an extensive letter from the counsel to the President," Sullivan replied. "The rationale is laid out there."

When Menendez asked if Sullivan was aware people outside the State Department had sought to undermine then-Amb. Marie Yovanovitch, who was removed from her post in the spring, Sullivan replied, "I was."

"And did you know Mr. Giuliani was one of those people?" Menendez asked, referring to Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

"I believed he was, yes," Sullivan said.

Giuliani has been a central player in Trump's efforts regarding Ukraine. Yovanovitch told House impeachment investigators earlier this month that Trump had personally pressured the State Department to remove her, even though Sullivan assured her that she had "done nothing wrong."

Vindman testimony draws direct line on quid pro quo

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that a White House meeting between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Zelenskiy — as well as the delivery of nearly $400 million in security and military aid — was "contingent" on Ukrainian officials carrying out investigations into Burisma, the Bidens, the 2016 election and CrowdStrike, NBC News has learned.

Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, said in his opening statement at Tuesday's closed door testimony, "I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine."

Two sources familiar with the testimony say that Vindman later went further than his opening statement by drawing a direct line between the deliverables for Ukraine and the multiple investigations.

McConnell: Impeachment measure denies Trump 'basic rights'

WASHINGTON — The House Democrats' impeachment resolution would deny President Donald Trump the "most basic rights of due process," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday in a floor speech sharply criticizing the leaders behind the measure.

McConnell went after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., saying that "instead of setting a high bar, House Democrats seem determined to set a new low." The resolution, he said, would deny the "most basic rights of due process" to Trump, such as having his lawyer participate in closed-door depositions by the committee.

The House is expected to vote on the measure Thursday as Democrats look to counter protests from Trump and his Republicans allies that the impeachment process is illegitimate and unfair. The resolution calls for open hearings and requires the House Intelligence Committee to submit a report outlining its findings and recommendations.

Democrats compare the committee's role in the impeachment inquiry to a fact-finding grand jury proceeding in which the accused does not have rights to counsel. They say the resolution establishes rights comparable to episodes such the 1998-1999 impeachment and trial of President Bill Clinton. In Clinton's case, independent counsel Ken Starr conducted an extensive investigation and delivered boxes of sworn testimony that he said likely constituted grounds for impeachment.

Read State Dept. official Christopher Anderson's opening remarks

Christopher Anderson, who was a special adviser to former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, is scheduled to testify Wednesday afternoon before the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry. 

Anderson is expected to say in his opening statement that former national security adviser John Bolton had cautioned him that Trump personal attorney Rudy “Giuliani was a key voice with the President on Ukraine which could be an obstacle to increased White House engagement.”

Anderson was also expected to testify that Giuliani’s attempt to urge the Ukrainian government to open investigations was discussed at a Ukraine strategy meeting at the Department of Energy in June. It was a June 18 meeting this year in which Energy “Secretary [Rick] Perry hosted a follow-up meeting at the Department of Energy to discuss how to move forward” with engaging Ukraine.

Trump campaign launches $1 million anti-impeachment television campaign

WASHINGTON — President Trump's re-election campaign is out with a new television spot blasting impeachment as a "scam" and a "bunch of bull," as the president looks to sway public opinion in key Democratic primary states as well as some swing states pivotal to his own 2020 bid. 

The campaign started airing the ad Wednesday morning, shortly after the campaign booked $1.15 million in time across Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. from Oct. 30 through Nov. 5, according to spending data from Advertising Analytics. 

The breakdown: $400,000 of that total is booked for Nevada, $387,000 is booked for Pennsylvania, $257,000 is booked for Iowa, $64,000 is booked in Boston (which covers most of New Hampshire) and $42,600 is booked in Washington D.C.

In the spot, a smattering of speakers take turns lambasting impeachment in a variety of settings—at home, in offices, and on factory floors.

"Impeachment is a scam."

Impeachment is a bunch of bull."

"Impeachment is a joke."

"It’s a partisan witch hunt."

 "They can’t get over the fact that Donald Trump won. The Democrats are trying to overturn the election. Ignore how we voted. Donald Trump is an excellent president. Over 6 million new jobs. My job is here, not China. My paycheck is bigger. Black and Hispanic women are finally gaining. Donald Trump is my president." 

Public sentiment appears to be creeping toward supporting impeachment, but strong majorities voters are still not sold on removing Trump from office. 

ANALYSIS: Pelosi wants Americans to see the trial of Donald Trump

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi's patience was rewarded.

With the impeachment script fully flipping this week, it's Pelosi who wants Americans to watch every turn of the trial of President Donald Trump, and Republicans who have abruptly stopped calling for more transparency.

"They want transparency like a hole in the head, for crying out loud," said Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. "Transparency is not going to help them."

The reason for the change: the facts in evidence.

Read more about Pelosi's impeachment strategy here.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her office at the Capitol on Sept. 27, 2019.Damon Winter / NYT via Redux file

Jordan not concerned about changes to White House notes, claims whistleblower 'bias'

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he wasn’t concerned about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s testimony about changes in the notes released by the White House about President Donald Trump’s Ukraine call.

"No, I mean, there's a process," Jordan said. "The changes I think that were outlined in the press were not a big deal, if in fact that was the case."

Jordan also said he and other House Republicans would like to speak to the U.S. officials whose information formed the basis of the whistleblower’s complaint to determine if any of them had a bias, which he suggested was the case for the whistleblower. 

"What we're focused on is determining people's credibility and what their bias and motive is," Jordan said. "We know one thing — well, there are a couple of things about this whistleblower. The Oversight Committee probably deals with more whistleblowers than any committee in Congress. You always look for two things when a whistleblower comes forward. Did they have firsthand knowledge, and what is their bias and/or motive? This individual, whomever he may be, has problems in both areas."

The inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, wrote to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire on Aug. 26 and mentioned an "indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate" in considering the credibility of the whistleblower's complaint. But Atkinson, a Trump appointee, determined this did not change the facts surrounding the issue, “particularly given the other information the ICIG obtained during its preliminary review” of the complaint, and concluded the complaint was "credible" and of "urgent concern."

In Ukraine, leaders struggle to keep their heads down amid U.S. impeachment circus

KYIV, Ukraine — With Washington consumed by a frenzied political circus fueled by impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, the Ukrainian government thrust into the middle of the scandal has a single, plaintive request: Please leave us out of it.

In the Ukrainian capital, the impeachment saga has emerged as a sword of Damocles for new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, with each new wrinkle and disclosure before Congress threatening to pull his government further into the morass. For Ukrainian leaders, there is no upside but plenty of downside to becoming the latest cudgel in Washington’s deeply polarized political battleground.

Read the full story here.

Read Ukraine special adviser Catherine Croft's opening statement

Catherine Croft, a State Department special adviser for Ukraine, began her closed-door deposition on Wednesday morning before the three House committees leading the inquiry.

Croft is expected to say she participated in a July video conference where an Office of Management and Budget official reported that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had placed a hold on U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. The only reason given was that the order came "at the direction of the president," her opening statement says.

Croft, who joined the National Security Council in July 2017 and stayed there through the first half of 2018, is expected to tell lawmakers that she received multiple calls from Robert Livingston — a lobbyist and former GOP member of Congress who resigned in 1998 for an affair — who told her that Marie Yovanovitch, then the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, should be fired.