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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

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Live Blog

Ex-White House counsel Don McGahn must obey subpoena to testify before Congress, judge rules

A federal judge ruled late Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must obey a subpoena for his testimony issued by the House Judiciary Committee, a decision that the Trump administration is certain to appeal.

Justice Department lawyers had argued that as a former close adviser to the president, McGahn could not be commanded to appear before Congress. The government said the longstanding view, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, is that the president and his immediate advisers are absolutely immune to such demands.

Administration lawyers cited a 1999 Justice Department legal opinion issued by Janet Reno, attorney general during the Clinton administration. "Subjecting a senior presidential advisor to the congressional subpoena power would be akin to requiring the president himself to appear before Congress" on matters related to his official duties, the Reno opinion said.

The current White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, notified the House that President Donald Trump directed McGahn not to testify before the House "in order to protect the prerogatives of the office of the presidency."

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Prosecutors seeking info on payments to Rudy Giuliani

Federal prosecutors in New York are seeking records of payments to Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, as part of an active criminal investigation, according to a grand jury subpoena seen by Reuters.

The subpoena does not indicate that Giuliani is suspected of wrongdoing. But the crimes being investigated, it says, include money laundering, wire fraud, campaign finance violations, making false statements, obstruction of justice, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). It requires disclosure of lobbying on behalf of foreign interests.

The subpoena requests that the recipient provide “all documents, including correspondence, with or related to Rudolph Giuliani, Giuliani Partners or any related person or entity,” referring to his consulting company. The subpoena also seeks all “documents related to any actual or potential payments, or agreements to or with Giuliani.”

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McConnell on impeachment: Senate 'will take it up because we have no choice'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke to reporters on Monday morning during an event in London, Kentucky, making similar comments to what he has said in the past regarding how an impeachment trial will go in the Senate.

Asked how long a potential trial would last, McConnell said, "There's really no way to know. There's no set time. We'll just have to turn to it when we get it and work out the way forward."

"We will take it up because we have no choice," McConnel added. "And how long we're on it will be determined by the majority of the Senate."

Schiff says he is open to hearing from more witnesses

WASHINGTON — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Monday that a report on the impeachment inquiry would be sent to the Judiciary Committee after the Thanksgiving holiday — and that as the process continued, he remained open to hearing from more witnesses.

"Even as we draft our report, we are open to the possibility that further evidence will come to light, whether in the form of witnesses who provide testimony or documents that become available," Schiff wrote in a letter to colleagues. "If other witnesses seek to show the same patriotism and courage of their colleagues and deputies and decide to obey their duty to the country over fealty to the President, we are prepared to hear from them."

There are currently no additional public hearings scheduled. But some key expected witnesses have so far ignored subpoenas, including former White House counsel Don McGahn, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. 

A federal judge was expected to rule by the end of the day Monday whether McGahn would be required to comply with the subpoena and testify before Congress.

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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