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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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

Rep. Dingell 'very disturbed by the undue influence' being put on Republicans

Rep. Debbie Dingell, R-Mich., said Friday that she was "very disturbed" by the pressure she said is being put on Republican lawmakers to toe the line during the House impeachment inquiry.

Asked on Fox News whether Democrats should move forward with impeachment without GOP backing, Dingell responded, "First of all, I don't know that there is no Republican support. I have talked to a number of people who are deeply disturbed, and they're being very cautious in their words. Their arms are being broken, and I'm very disturbed by the undue influence I'm seeing put on Republicans too."

Dingell said what she heard in testimony over the last two weeks "deeply disturbed" her and would accurately be described as bribery.

"It is very clear that the Ukrainian president was — the word 'bribe' does work with being told you are not going to get this aid that you need unless you agree to do this investigation, and you do it publicly," she said. "And we do have evidence that money was held up." 

The congresswoman added that the Intelligence Committee was already drafting its report, after which the Judiciary Committee will make its recommendations, and she would wait to see those before coming to any conclusions about impeachment.

Dingell also weighed in on the debunked conspiracy theory Trump and his allies have been chasing that it was really Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election — which former top Russia expert Fiona Hill called a "fictional narrative" that echoed Russian propaganda during her testimony on Thursday.

"One of the things we do know and one of the reasons why I have been fearful about impeachment, but I am getting madder and madder ... is that we do know, there were Republican Cabinet members that testified that Russia interfered in our last elections. Russia is trying to divide us as a country. That's documented in the Mueller report. Intelligence agency after intelligence agency around the world is saying that they're trying to destabilize democracy.

"We need a president that's going  to protect the United States of America, not help destabilize democracies around the world," she said.

Impeachment testimony highlights how Trump has recast the way U.S. deals with the world

It is not normal for the United States to have two diplomatic channels for dealing with a foreign ally at war, as the U.S. apparently did with Ukraine under Trump, as the acting ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, told the House impeachment inquiry this month.

The first was the official one run by Taylor, aimed at supporting Ukraine in its war with Russian-backed separatists. The other was “irregular, informal” and unaccountable to Congress, with the goal of getting Ukraine’s new leader to do Trump “a favor” by investigating a political rival, as described by a number of witnesses — most explosively by the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, on Wednesday.

What is also not normal is the United States’ current standing in the world and the way other countries have engaged with it since Trump took office, but particularly since the revelations about his actions toward Ukraine prompted the impeachment inquiry against him.

Diplomatic and foreign policy experts tell NBC News that the president’s habit of deviating — sometimes wildly — from long-held alliances and diplomatic norms have substantially altered America’s relations with allies around the world, and made trusting U.S. intentions and policy positions increasingly difficult.

Read the full story.

Fact check: Trump's false claims about Ukraine, DNC server

President Donald Trump, hitting back after a marathon week of public impeachment hearings, continued to promote the debunked conspiracy that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, falsely claiming that "a Ukrainian company" is harboring a hacked server belonging to the Democratic National Committee.

During a nearly hour-long phone interview with "Fox & Friends" Friday morning, Trump defended his administration's freeze on military aid to Ukraine earlier this year as well as his July 25 call with the Ukrainian president that prompted a whistleblower complaint, saying he was simply trying to root out corruption in the country.

"A lot of it had to do, they say, with Ukraine," he began, before alleging that the country has the DNC server that was hacked in 2016.

"The FBI went in and they told them get out of here, we’re not giving it to you. They gave the server to CrowdStrike... which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian, and I still want to see that server,” " Trump said of the DNC's actions upon learning that it had been hacked in the run-up to the election. "You know, the FBI has never gotten that server. That's a big part of this whole thing. Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company?"

Almost none of these claims are remotely true.

Read the fact check.

Giuliani claims Zelenskiy mentioned him on July 25 call because of his record fighting crime

Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani tweeted Friday that his previous record fighting crime as New York City's mayor is what prompted Ukrainian President Zelenskiy to bring him up on the July 25 call with Trump.

Giuliani made the remark in a Twitter post after tweeting out Trump's defense of Giuliani's Ukraine dealings during a nearly hour-long interview with "Fox & Friends" on Friday morning.

Multiple witnesses have told House investigators that Giuliani ran a shadow policy effort to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into the Bidens and a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. Giuliani was involved in the effort as early as last spring and summer, and Zelenskiy reportedly met with aids to discuss their concerns over the U.S. demands for an investigation of the Bidens in early May — well before the July phone call and a day after U.S. Amb. Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump called "bad news" on the phone call with Zelenskiy, was recalled from Ukraine.  

Mystery grows over Lebanon aid hold-up as impeachment looms

The Trump administration is withholding more than $100 million in U.S. military assistance to Lebanon that has been approved by Congress and is favored by his national security team, an assertion of executive control of foreign aid that is similar to the delay in support for Ukraine at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

The hold came up in impeachment testimony by David Hale, the No. 3 official in the State Department, according to the transcript of the closed-door hearing released this week. He described growing consternation among diplomats as the administration would neither release the aid nor provide an explanation for the hold.

“People started asking: What's the problem?” Hale told the impeachment investigators.

As with the Ukraine assistance, the Office of Management and Budget has not explained the reason for the delay. However, unlike Ukraine, there is no suggestion that President Donald Trump is seeking “a favor” from Lebanon to release it, according to five officials familiar with the matter. The White House and OMB have declined to comment on the matter.

Read the full story.

Senate Dems demand Pompeo recuse himself over 'profound conflict of interest' in Trump-Ukraine matters

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are demanding Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recuse himself from all Trump-Ukraine matters, saying in a letter that the secretary was on the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and has "profound conflict of interest."

While Pompeo has acknowledged being on the call, in which Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate his political rivals, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland drew the secretary more deeply into the Trump-Ukraine effort than was previously known during his testimony on Wednesday. Sondland told the House Intelligence Committee about emails to the secretary and a top aide in which the basic contours of the quid pro quo alleged by Democrats — which include allegations of placing a hold on military aid — seem clear.

Pompeo, meanwhile, has continued to "impede the House impeachment inquiry, including by refusing to produce any State Department records on the Trump-Ukraine scandal — including those that may shed further light on your own complicity," the 10 Democrats on the committee wrote Thursday. They added that Sondland testified the State Department refused to give him access to his own materials as he prepared for the hearing, which the department has disputed.

"The only legitimate option is for you to recuse and to delegate the department's response to the Trump-Ukraine scandal to a senior career department official," the senators wrote. "We urge you to do so immediately."