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.

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Documents released to ethics group show Giuliani, Pompeo contacts before Ukraine ambassador ousted

An ethics group has published nearly 100 pages of previously unreleased State Department documents that the group says shows “a clear paper trail” between President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before a Ukraine ambassador was abruptly recalled.

The documents were published late Friday by American Oversight, which calls itself a non-partisan and nonprofit ethics watchdog and Freedom of Information Act litigator investigating the Trump administration.

They appear to show two calls between Giuliani and Pompeo in March, around a month before former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, an anti-corruption expert, was abruptly called back to the U.S. in April and then removed from the post.

The information "reveals a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani's smear campaign against a U.S. ambassador," Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, said in a statement.

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Everything we learned from the impeachment hearings

From Wednesday Nov. 13 to Thursday Nov. 21, Americans were glued to their televisions, computers and streaming devices, as the House Intelligence Committee held a series of long public hearings as part of a broader Democratic-led impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

Here are all the things we learned from two jam-packed weeks of public testimony.

'The global version of Watergate': Democrats confident in impeachment case after open hearings

Democrats on Sunday said that the two weeks of open hearings in the House impeachment inquiry bolstered the case against President Donald Trump and that "every single day provides new and incriminating evidence."

Speaking with ABC's "This Week," Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said the president's conduct amounts to "the global version of Watergate, where a president is trying to get dirt on a political opponent from a world leader."

On CBS's "Face the Nation," Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said he doesn't believe "any Democrat in the Congress looked at what happened over the last two weeks and said, 'Gosh, there's nothing there.'

Asked if this phase of the impeachment probe is wrapped up, Himes said, "Every single day provides new and incriminating evidence."

On "Fox News Sunday," Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said there was an "urgency" to move the impeachment proceedings along and not wait for courts to rule on other potential witnesses. "We have powerful evidence already," he said.

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OMB says there was 'legal consensus' on withholding Ukraine aid

Rachel Semmel, a spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget, said Monday that the administration followed "routine practices and procedures" in putting a hold on hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine.

“To be clear, there was a legal consensus at every step of the way that the money could be withheld in order to conduct the policy review," Semmel said. "OMB works closely with agencies on executing the budget. Routine practices and procedures were followed.”

The statement comes after reports in The Washington Post and The New York Times that a confidential White House Counsel's Office review of the hold revealed email discussions among acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and budget officials in August about justifying the halt, which Trump ordered in mid-July, after the fact and questioning whether the hold was legal.

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OPINION: Devin Nunes' impeachment defense of Trump — and possible Ukraine collusion — redefines partisan hackery

At last Thursday’s impeachment hearing, Fiona Hill, President Donald Trump's former top adviser on Russia and Europe, had a very direct message for Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

“Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did,” Hill said. “This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”

Her comments came the day after Russian President Vladimir Putin had boasted at an event in Moscow: “Thank God no one is accusing us of interfering in the U.S. elections anymore. Now they’re accusing Ukraine.”

In effect that was also a shout-out to Nunes. As Trump’s loyal attack ferret on the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes has continually pushed the same debunked conspiracy theories about Ukraine, the Democratic National Committee and CrowdStrike that the Russians have apparently worked so diligently to spread. Indeed, Nunes has become the de facto face of the GOP defense of Trump, in all of its bizarre contempt for facts, its willingness to ignore and defame witnesses and its zeal to defend the president at all costs — including actively colluding with efforts to dig up dirt on his political opponents.

Read the full opinion piece.

Sen. Coons rips Lindsey Graham over investigation of Bidens

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., blasted Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham's launching of an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, saying the South Carolina Republican is doing Trump's "dirty work."

"I know that he's under enormous pressure from the Trump White House," Coons said of Graham in an interview Sunday on MSNBC's "Kasie DC." "He's up for reelection. He's facing a primary. But that doesn't justify abandoning a decades-old friendship and a commitment to the truth."

Last week Graham requested Secretary of State Mike Pompeo release documents related to contacts between the former vice president, his son, other Obama administration officials and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The request is related to an alleged conflict of interest of the then-vice president over his calls in 2016 for Ukraine to crack down on corruption, including removing the country's prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, who was seen as ineffective. Shokin had investigated an energy company Burisma Holdings, where Biden's son Hunter Biden was a board member.

When asked about the move, Biden said Saturday that the Judiciary Committee "can have all the documents. There's not a single person, not a single solitary person in Ukraine, or in Europe or in the IMF, International Monetary Fund, or our allies that said anything other than I carried out the policy without one single moment of hesitation of the United States government in dealing with corruption in Ukraine. ... But it does disappoint me.

Graham on Monday defended his actions, saying, “My conscious is clear, I love Joe Biden as a person,  he is a really decent man. He's had a lot of tragedy in his life. But I have a conscious very clear right now, and I have a duty. If the House is going to shut it down, the Senate is going to pick it up.”

"My friendship with Joe Biden, if it can't withstand me doing my job, then it's not the friendship I thought we had," Graham added. "I admire him as a person. I think he's always tried to do right as a person."

Coons, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, said the allegations against the former vice president have been found to be "groundless, calling Graham's investigation a "red herring" and "a bad attempt to distract from the reality of the impeachment inquiry that’s going forward in  the House."  

Graham's "latest decision, this choice to betray a decades-old friendship and a clear-eyed view of the truth, I think is a really disappointing demonstration of just how  much Senator Graham's close relationship with President Trump has affected the core of who he is and his judgment," Coons added.  

Nunes dodges questions about allegations he sought dirt on Biden from Ukraine

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., on Sunday dodged questions about reports he met with Ukraine's former top prosecutor in an effort to investigate the Bidens, citing his threats to sue the media outlets that uncovered the allegations.

"I really want to answer all these questions, and I promise you I absolutely will come back on the show and answer these questions," Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures." "But, because there is criminal activity here, we’re working with the appropriate law enforcement agencies; we’re going to file this, and everyone’s going to know the truth, everybody’s going to know all the facts."

"But, I think you can understand that I can’t compete by trying to debate this out with the public media when 90% of the media are totally corrupt," he added. "And, because this is criminal in nature, and because it’s so bad, it’s so slanderous — we’ve got all the facts on our side, and we’re going to file in federal court, because I'm not going to sit here and try to compete against the media that I have no chance of winning. I will win in court, and they’ll have a chance to cooperate, and they’ll have to show how they work with somebody who has been indicted, which is likely conspiring to obstruct justice."

The allegations arose when the attorney for an indicted associate of President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said he was willing to tell Congress that Nunes met with that ex-Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, about investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who had business dealings in Ukraine.

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