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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

Volker and Sondland deposition transcripts to be released

The investigative committees are expected to release the deposition transcripts of former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland on Tuesday, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said.

The move comes a day after House Democrats released the testimony of ousted Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley, a former aid to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as the probe moves to a more public phase.

Also on Tuesday, two more officials — National Security Council adviser Wells Griffith and Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey — are scheduled to give depositions, although at least one of them — Duffey — is not expected to appear.

Read the full story here.

Article II - The First Transcripts

Today, the House released transcripts from two witness depositions, officially moving the impeachment inquiry into a public phase. Steve Kornacki caught up with Geoff Bennett, White House Correspondent for NBC News, to talk about the full testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, former Ambassador to Ukraine, and Senior Adviser to the Secretary of State, Michael McKinley. 

The two discuss:

  • What the full testimony reveals, including Yovanovitch’s accounting of how she learned of the campaign to oust her and details around McKinley’s decision to resign from the State Department
  • Why House Democrats chose to release the transcripts now
  • How the release of the transcripts affects the timeline of the impeachment inquiry – and what to expect later this week

Listen to the full episode here.

Indicted Giuliani pal willing to comply with impeachment inquiry, his lawyer says

Rudy Giuliani associate who was indicted last month for making illegal campaign contributions is willing to provide documents and testimony to House impeachment investigators, his lawyer confirmed to NBC News.

Lev Parnas' lawyer Joseph A. Bondy said, "We will honor and not avoid the committee’s requests to the extent they are legally proper, while scrupulously protecting Mr. Parnas' privileges including that of the Fifth Amendment."

Parnas was originally asked to testify before Congress last month, a request he ignored. He was arrested at the airport on the day he was supposed to be deposed with a one-way ticket to Vienna.

Read more here.

Will John Bolton testify?

Former Trump national security adviser John Bolton is willing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, a source familiar tells NBC News, but only under certain conditions. This source tells NBC News that Bolton would be willing to testify publicly under subpoena if the courts direct his longtime associate Charles Kupperman to cooperate with the probe.

Kupperman, who served as Bolton’s deputy, filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to resolve conflicting orders from Congress and the White House, which had ordered him not to appear. Bolton and Kupperman share an attorney.

Oral arguments in the Kupperman case are slated to begin on Dec. 10, a date that would delay the House inquiry.  Schiff today told reporters he’s prepared to move forward without Bolton’s testimony.

"We are not going to delay our work,” Schiff said. "That would merely allow these witnesses and the White House to succeed with their goal, which is to delay, deny, obstruct."

 

More impeachment no-shows expected this week

As Democrats wrap up the private fact-finding portion of their impeachment inquiry, NBC News has learned that most of the witnesses scheduled for closed-door testimony the remainder of this week are not expected to appear as requested.

The following is according to sources familiar and subject to change:

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

  • NOT CONFIRMED: Wells Griffith, NSC Senior Director for International Energy and Environment
  • NOT EXPECTED TO APPEAR: Michael Duffey, OMB Associate Director for National Security Programs | 9:30AM

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

  • NOT EXPECTED TO APPEAR: T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, Department of State Counselor | 9:30AM
  • NOT EXPECTED TO APPEAR: Russell Vought, OMB Acting Director | 9:30AM
  • NOT EXPECTED TO APPEAR: Rick Perry, Energy Secretary
  • NOT CONFIRMED: David Hale, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

Thursday, November 7, 2019

  • NOT EXPECTED TO APPEAR: John Bolton, Former National Security Adviser | 9:30AM

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters today that rather than seeking recourse in the courts, further defiance of congressional subpoenas by administration officials "will only add to the body of evidence on a potential obstruction of Congress charge against the president."

Ousted Ukraine ambassador Yovanovitch says she was told to tweet praise of Trump to save her job

Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told House impeachment investigators last month that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland told her she should tweet out support or praise for President Donald Trump if she wanted to save her job, according to a transcript of her testimony made public Monday.

The three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump released two transcripts of the behind-closed-doors interviews they have so far conducted as part of their investigation, as the probe moves to a more public phase.

Read more of Yovanovitch's interview here.

Impeachment haunts the campaign trail as candidates compete against the bigger story

DECORAH, Iowa — Impeachment is rolling into the 2020 presidential primary like a winter storm, threatening to blot out the sun for candidates desperate for attention and sweep several leading candidates off the trail entirely just before the Iowa caucuses early next year.

And there's not a thing the Democratic contenders can do about it.

"You know, a lot of politics is about the illusion of control, when really we're all subject to the winds of history that are blowing around," Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said in response to questions from NBC News aboard his campaign bus.

While the timing of the Democrats' impeachment effort in Washington remains unclear, the House hopes to finish its investigation into President Donald Trump by the end of the year, which could mean that a Senate trial would likely begin in early January — just weeks before Iowa's critical first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 3. A potential trial of Trump is an enormous election wild card that everyone agrees will disrupt the race, even if they don't know exactly how.

Read the full story here.

Amid impeachment drive, the pro-Trump search for dirt on Ukraine and the Bidens goes on

KYIV, Ukraine — While Congress heard closed-door testimony last week about President Donald Trump pushing Ukraine to investigate his opponents, Rudy Giuliani was holding his own private Ukraine meeting in his Manhattan office.

Giuliani, the Trump personal lawyer at the center of the firestorm as Trump faces likely impeachment, met with former Ukrainian diplomat Andriy Telizhenko, who alleges that Ukraine's government conspired with the Democratic National Committee to hurt Trump in 2016.

Far from keeping their heads down, those working in common cause with the president's and Giuliani's campaign to get Ukraine to investigate Trump's political opponents are moving ahead unabated, interviews in Kyiv and Washington with several of those involved reveal.

Read more about the search for Ukraine dirt.

Trump wants whistleblower to do what he wouldn't: Answer questions in person

President Donald Trump said Monday that written answers from the whistleblower to Congress would be unacceptable — although such answers were fine for the president when dealing with former special counsel Robert Mueller.

"The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff," Trump tweeted. "He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable! Where is the 2nd Whistleblower? He disappeared after I released the transcript. Does he even exist? Where is the informant? Con!"

Trump was responding to news that Mark Zaid, the attorney for both known whistleblowers who came forward with concerns about Trump's conduct toward Ukraine, said the first whistleblower offered to provide written answers to House investigators to protect his or her identity. Zaid told NBC News on Sunday that he had not yet received a substantive response from House Intelligence Committee Republicans about his offer.

Read more here.