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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.
Image: Impeachment live blog
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

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Live Blog

Dem Rep. says impeachment transcripts likely coming 'within the next five days'

Leading Democrats said Sunday that the public can soon expect the release of full transcripts of witness testimony in the House impeachment probe, as well as the launch of open, televised hearings.

"I think you're going to see all of the transcripts that are going to be released probably within the next five days," Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., told CBS's "Face the Nation." "I don't know if they're all going to be released on the same day, but they're going to be very telling to the American people."

Read more here.

Friday's impeachment news roundup

In case you're just catching up on Friday's impeachment news, here's some of what you missed:

  • A day after the House adopted procedures for the impeachment inquiry, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said President Donald is prepared to be impeached. Grisham also said Trump might hold a "fireside chat" in which he would read a transcript of the July 25 Trump-Ukraine call, and suggested the White House could cooperate with the inquiry "if things are actually open and transparent."
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she expects the House to begin public hearings this month — the most specific she has been about when lawmakers would have the chance to question witnesses in open session. Pelosi also made clear that Democrats have not yet decided whether they will actually impeach the president.
  • Meanwhile, Trump is road-testing a new message on impeachment while the House lines up more witness depositions for next week.

Witness testimony and public hearings: What comes next?

Grisham: 'We are prepared for impeachment to happen'

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News on Friday that President Donald Trump is prepared to be impeached by the House.

"I mean, we are still obviously hopeful that everybody will come to their senses and realize that the president did nothing wrong," Grisham said. "But we are prepared for an impeachment to happen, yes."

Grisham said when asked about Trump's feelings about the prospect that the president has expressed his thoughts on Twitter, adding that the impeachment inquiry "has been unjust and unfair."

"We released that transcript weeks ago for everybody to see," Grisham said, referring to the White House's detailed notes of the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a central focus of the whistleblower complaint that gave rise to the inquiry. "There was no quid pro quo. The Ukrainian government themselves has said they felt absolutely no pressure. Aid was eventually released to the Ukraine. This all stemmed from the president being responsible and not wanting to release money to a country that was known for corruption."

Asked if Trump would hold a televised "fireside chat" and read a transcript of the phone call, as he told the Washington Examiner, Grisham said, "I don't know what the logistics of it would look like just yet," adding when pressed, "I don't have any timing there."

Grisham also suggested the White House might cooperate with the inquiry, but only if the process is transparent.

"If things are actually open and transparent, as purported, I would imagine that we would participate," Grisham said. "But again, if they're going to have different rules and move the goalposts all the time, then that's just not a  fair process. In the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty. Right now, the president is being told he that he's guilty by the Democrats and we're having to prove innocence without knowing any information. That's not okay."

President Trump is out on the road testing a new message

Pelosi sheds a little more light on timeline for public hearings

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday that she expects the House to begin public hearings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump this month. 

“I would assume there would be public hearings in November,” she told reporters and editors during a roundtable held at Bloomberg News in New York. 

This was the most specific Pelosi has been in terms of when lawmakers would have the chance to question witnesses in open session. Speaking in a separate interview Thursday on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Pelosi was vague and said that the public hearings would take place "soon."

In the interview with Bloomberg, Pelosi made clear that Democrats have not yet decided whether they will actually impeach the president. According to Bloomberg, she also didn't rule out the possibility that the inquiry would spill into 2020, a presidential election year.

“I don't know what the timetable will be — the truth will set us free,” she said. “We have not made any decisions on if the president will be impeached.”

Pelosi's remarks come a day after the House took an historic vote to reaffirm the ongoing inquiry and set guidelines and rules for the next steps in the investigation. 

The House will be on recess next week but closed-door depositions are expected to continue with a number of additional witnesses scheduled to come in. Some witnesses, however, may not show up because of White House efforts to block their testimony. 

What's next in the Trump impeachment inquiry, Friday edition

There are no depositions scheduled today.

Looking ahead to next week, Monday could be busy. Four administration officials are scheduled for depositions, though it's not clear that they will all appear as requested. Those officials are:

  • John Eisenberg, National Security Council legal adviser
  • Michael Ellis, deputy National Security Council legal adviser
  • Robert Blair, senior adviser to acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney
  • Brian McCormack, associate director for natural resources, energy and science in the Office of Management and Budget

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Former White House aide testifies of Ukraine call concerns, possible quid pro quo

WASHINGTON — Former Trump administration official Tim Morrison told congressional investigators Thursday that he had been concerned the July 25 phone conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy would have a negative impact on both politics and policy if it were to become public, according to two sources familiar with his testimony.

The former top National Security Council adviser on Russia and Europe — who was on that call, and told investigators Thursday he thought there was "nothing illegal" about the conversation, including the president’s request that Ukraine open an investigation into former vice president and 2020 rival Joe Biden — said that he was aware that the discussion, if it were ever widely known, could spark political controversy in Washington and have an adverse effect on U.S.-Ukrainian relations, according to a review of his opening statement.

And he said his own conversation several weeks after the president's July 25 call with Sondland, a Trump backer, had given him reason to believe that the release of security assistance to Ukraine might be conditioned on a public statement from Ukraine that it was reopening the Burisma probe.

Read more on Morrison's testimony here.

Rep. who missed vote voices his support

Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Va., who missed Thursday's vote on the impeachment procedures resolution while recuperating from surgery, said in a statement Thursday that he "strongly supports" the measure as a "necessary step" that will ensure transparency and due process.

"Our constituents deserve to hear the many ways the president has betrayed our country and put our national security at risk for his own gain," McEachin said in the statement. "With this vote, we are ensuring transparency, effective public hearings, and due process protections for the president or his counsel.

"While I deeply regret we have come to this, I stand with my colleagues in support of today’s resolution," he continued. "We must hold the president accountable for his misconduct — it is our Constitutional obligation. No one is above the law.”