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

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Live Blog

Joe says Sen. Kennedy's Pelosi bash is degrading, hard to turn back from

John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, skips impeachment deposition

WASHINGTON — Former White House national security adviser John Bolton failed to appear Thursday for his closed-door deposition in the House impeachment inquiry, following the lead of other current and former Trump administration officials who have chosen not to show up.

Last week, Bolton — who was fired by Trump in September — was formally invited to testify before the three congressional committees in charge of questioning witnesses, but his lawyer, Charles Cooper, quickly made clear that his client was unwilling to appear voluntarily. Bolton has not been issued a subpoena, sources familiar with the inquiry said.

Bolton's no-show comes after his former top deputy, Charles Kupperman, skipped his own scheduled deposition amid efforts by the White House to block his appearance. Kupperman then filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to rule on whether he must testify under a congressional subpoena.

Read the full story here.

ANALYSIS: As proceedings go public, Dems try to keep it simple

WASHINGTON — For the first time next Wednesday, with cameras rolling, House Democrats will begin broadcasting a dramatic story about the corruption of American democracy and governance that they contend not only reaches into the Oval Office, but bears the unmistakable fingerprints of President Donald Trump.

Their challenge in impeaching Trump is keeping the tale of his Ukraine scandal simple as they try to move forward through a thicket of Republican defensescharacters unfamiliar to the public; and constitutional, legal and political principles most Americans haven't considered since their last civics class.

"We have a tendency to get in the weeds on this," said Del. Stacey Plaskett, D-V.I., a former senior official in the Obama Justice Department who represents the Virgin Islands in Congress, and a member of the three-committee panel that has been conducting impeachment hearings behind closed doors. "I use the words extortion and bribery. I think those are words that Americans can understand."

Read the full analysis here.

Sen. Harris: If impeachment gets to Senate, I will be there

Trump denies report that he wanted Barr to publicly clear him on Ukraine

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is denying he wanted Attorney General William Barr to hold a press conference to declare he broke no laws during a phone call in which he pressed Ukraine's president to investigate Democrats.

Trump tweeted early Thursday that the story, first reported by The Washington Post, "is totally untrue and just another FAKE NEWS story with anonymous sources that don't exist."

The Post said Barr rebuffed the request, which came in September around the time the White House released a rough transcript of Trump's July 25 call at the center of the House impeachment probe. The paper cited unidentified people familiar with the effort.

House Democrats are investigating Trump's pressure on Ukraine to investigate political rivals as aid money was being withheld.

Trump insists he did nothing wrong.

Pence adviser set to give evidence in closed-door hearing

Jennifer Williams, a special adviser on Russian and European affairs and long-serving State Department staffer, is expected to give evidence on Thursday.

Williams is the first witness from Vice President Mike Pence's national security team to appear for closed-door testimony. House investigators expect to learn more about how much Pence knew about Trump's Ukraine maneuvers.

Article II - The Best Defense - Wednesday, November 6th

On today’s episode, Steve Kornacki talks to Jon Allen, politics reporter for NBC News, about the different arguments Republicans are taking against impeachment.

The two discuss:

  • Why Republicans are unable to unify around a single defense of the President
  • The three main arguments Republicans are using to protect the President from being removed from office
  • The calculations made by Senate Major Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans in their defenses of the President up until this point
  • How Republicans could change their strategy as impeachment moves towards the Senate

The episode also answers a listener question about whether the establishment of a quid pro quo is required for the House to move forward with impeachment.

Listen here.

The Inquiry: Bill Taylor testimony released

House Democrats pull Kupperman subpoena

House Democrats have withdrawn their subpoena of former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman, according to a letter from the chairs of the committees leading the impeachment inquiry to Kupperman's lawyers.

"Dr. Kupperman still has an opportunity to fulfill his solemn constitutional duty," the chairs wrote. "Like the many dedicated public servants who have appeared before the Committees despite White House efforts to prevent or limit their testimony — including current and former White House officials who worked alongside your client — Dr. Kupperman can still add his testimony to the inquiry's record."

Kupperman filed a lawsuit days before he was scheduled to give closed-door testimony last month asking a federal judge to determine whether he is required to testify in the House impeachment inquiry. The lawsuit said Kupperman was told by White House lawyers not to appear. 

A House Intelligence Committee official said Wednesday there was "no proper basis for a witness to sue the Congress in court to oppose a duly authorized congressional subpoena. Nevertheless, given the schedule of our impeachment hearings, a court process that leads to the dismissal of Dr. Kupperman’s flawed lawsuit would only result in delay, so we have withdrawn his subpoena." 

Any testimony from Kupperman would bring the inquiry closer into the orbit of John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, who was said not to want to get involved with the president's efforts in Ukraine. Bolton, who has been scheduled to testify before the committees on Thursday, will not appear voluntarily his lawyer, who also represents Kupperman, has said. 

The lawyer, Charles Cooper, said last week that Bolton could be added to Kupperman's lawsuit.