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 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
- Trump is acquitted by the Senate on both articles of impeachment, with one GOP defector.
- Senate moves to impeachment trial endgame.
- Senators ask final questions before critical vote on witnesses.
- Senators probe prosecution, defense.
- The president's defense delivers closing arguments.
- Trump's legal team digs in.
- The president's defense begins.
- Democrats make case for obstruction.
- Trump impeached by the House on both articles of impeachment.
- Impeachment inquiry witnesses testify: Marie Yovanovitch, Alexander Vindman, Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland, Fiona Hill and others.
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Who is Bill Taylor? Witness testifying at Trump impeachment hearing
Here's what you need to know about Bill Taylor:
- He's a West Point graduate who spent six years as an Army infantry officer, including in Vietnam.
- Worked on Senate staff, NATO and the departments of Energy and State.
- Served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in the George W. Bush administration from 2006-2009. He left the State Department in 2013.
- Taylor and two other former ambassadors to Ukraine wrote an article in 2014 criticizing the Obama administration for not doing more to support the country after Russia annexed Crimea.
- In text messages former U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations Kurt Volker provided to Congress, Taylor is the diplomat included in the exchanges who voiced concern that the Trump administration was conditioning a coveted White House visit and military aid to Ukraine announcing investigations. In a text to Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Taylor wrote, "As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.
Impeachment 101: Now that hearings are airing, what happens next?
OPINION: Impeachment gives Trump staffers a choice: Loyalty and maybe prison, or betrayal and derision
The emerging strategy of House Republicans to argue that White House advisers went rogue — without the authorization of President Donald Trump — to press Ukraine to provide dirt on a political opponent puts Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, National Security Council legal adviser John Eisenberg, the president’s personal attorney and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and others in a precarious and even life-changing dilemma.
This gives those men a stark choice: They can stand mute while Republican members of congress and television analysts accuse them of potential criminal conduct in withholding congressionally authorized military aid to Ukraine and concealing evidence of this plot; or they can defend themselves by testifying in the upcoming impeachment proceedings that they were acting at the direction of the president.
Trump kicks off impeachment hearing day by bashing Schiff
White House readies for rapid response
The White House has a rapid response team set up and ready to go for Wednesday's impeachment hearing. Think of it as a debate-style setup with tweets and more ready to be deployed, according to an official.
The strategy will target what the White House sees as an unfair process, and the idea that Democrats are focusing on impeachment at the expense of other legislative priorities.
The White House points to the outreach it's been doing for weeks to members of Congress (in conversations with roughly 120 House members, they say) to build out their strategy.
It's not clear where Trump will be watching the hearings from (the residence or Oval Office or elsewhere). Keep in mind that he'll be otherwise occupied starting at midday once Turkish President Erdogan arrives.
Democrats bet impeachment hearings will mark beginning of the end of Trump's reality-TV presidency
Democrats are betting the reality-TV presidency of Donald Trump will begin to short-circuit Wednesday when they start putting names and faces to the bureaucrats who collectively contend he placed his own gain above American national security interests.
Democrats are confident enough that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., upped the ante on the eve of his panel's first publicly televised hearings by teasing the possibility that Trump will face impeachment on charges of bribery as well as high crimes and misdemeanors in an interview with National Public Radio.
Tillerson pushes back on Haley, says he never tried to undermine Trump
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is pushing back on former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s claim in her new book that he and John Kelly tried to enlist her to resist Trump’s agenda.
In a statement given to NBC News by a Tillerson aide, he takes a swipe at Haley by saying she wasn’t in many of his meetings and “isn’t in a position to know” about his conversations with Trump. The statement was earlier reported by The New York Times.
"During my service to our country as the Secretary of State, at no time did I, nor to my direct knowledge did anyone else serving along with me, take any actions to undermine the President.
My conversations with the President in the privacy of the Oval Office were always candid, frank, and my recommendations straightforward. Once the President made a decision, we at the State Department undertook our best efforts to implement that decision. Ambassador Haley was rarely a participant in my many meetings and is not in a position to know what I may or may not have said to the President.
I continue to be proud of my service as our country's 69th Secretary of State."
Democrats announce second week of impeachment public hearings
Schiff announced on Tuesday the schedule for next week's open impeachment hearings, which will last three days and feature testimony from eight current and former administration officials.
Tuesday, Nov. 19:
9am - Jennifer Williams and Alexander Vindman
2:30pm - Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison
Wednesday, Nov. 20:
9am - Gordon Sondland
2:30pm - Laura Cooper and David Hale
Thursday, Nov. 21:
9am - Fiona Hill
Here's his full announcement:
Washington, DC — Today, Chairman Adam Schiff announced that on Tuesday, November 19, Wednesday, November 20, and Thursday, November 21, 2019 the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will hold additional open hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump.
On the morning of Tuesday, November 19, 2019, the Committee will hear from Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who serves as the Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, November 19, 2019, the Committee will hear from Ambassador Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a White House aide with the National Security Council focusing on Europe and Russia policy.
On the morning of Wednesday, November 20, 2019, the Committee will hear from Ambassador Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union.
On the afternoon of Wednesday, November 20, 2019, the Committee will hear from Laura Cooper, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs and David Hale, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
On the morning of Thursday, November 21, 2019, the Committee will hear from Dr. Fiona Hill, former National Security Council senior director for Europe and Russia.
The Majority has accepted all of the Minority requests that are within the scope of the impeachment inquiry.
Additional details will be released in the coming days.
Graham says he won't 'bullshit' impeachment hearings
A handful of key Republican senators says they won’t be watching tomorrow’s first public impeachment hearing in the House, saying they either they have something else to do, or they have a problem with the process House Democrats have put together.
"This is bullshit, no, this is bullshit," said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. "They’re doing damage to the president right now. This is a political exercise that’s different than anything that’s ever happened when it comes trying to impeach a president."
He added, "This is a calculated effort to dirty up Trump, to do damage and then they’ll decide to impeach. This is dangerous to the presidency as an institution, I don’t like it. If you really want to impeach him do what we did with Clinton and what they did with Nixon.”
Democrats look to make the most of their strongest witnesses
Democrats are debating how to choreograph week two of the public hearings.
"There's talk of having him (Alexander Vindman) as a closer, closing with your best witness. They're talking about where best to position Vindman," who testified behind closed doors in uniform and is likely to show up once again in his dress blues for a public hearing, a visual the Democrats say will be powerful.
Bill Taylor, who is testifying Wednesday, and Vindman are the strongest witnesses and would be book ends.
"A good prosecutor leads with the strongest witness, and that's Taylor," one source said.
After establishing his long record of service and apolitical pedigree, Democrats will "get that hook in" within the first 30 minutes and "they think Taylor can do it."
- One of the big lessons of the former special counsel Robert Mueller testimony for Democrats was their failure "to get to the meat early" and let the witness tell the story.
- "This is a much better and easier story for us to tell than the Mueller report…This will be the opposite of that…This is going to be primetime TV,” said one aide involved in the process.
Adam Schiff on what Democrats are hoping for
Schiff released the following statement ahead of the hearings:
“We want the American people to hear the evidence for themselves in the witnesses’ own words, and our goal is to present the facts in a serious and sober manner. The three witnesses this week will begin to flesh out the details of the president’s effort to coerce a foreign nation to engage in political investigations designed to help his campaign, a corrupt undertaking that is evident from his own words on the July 25 call record.
“Bill Taylor is a decorated Vietnam war veteran who has served his country for decades in an array of diplomatic postings. George Kent and Marie Yovanovitch, also career Foreign Service Officers, have spent decades in service of our country, advancing our interests and security. They will describe their own experiences and how American policy towards Ukraine was subverted to serve the president’s personal, political interests, not the national interest.
“We want these hearings to be conducted in a fair and thorough manner, as should all Americans, given the gravity of the alleged misconduct.”