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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

Trump lashes out at 'D.C. Wolves' after McGahn ruling, claims he would 'love' for staff to testify

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that people were "reading far too much" into a federal judge's ruling Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must obey a congressional subpoena and testify before the House Judiciary Committee — a ruling that could also have implications for a host of Trump administration aides and officials who refused to testify before the House impeachment inquiry.

"The D.C. Wolves and Fake News Media are reading far too much into people being forced by Courts to testify before Congress," Trump wrote. "I am fighting for future Presidents and the Office of the President. Other than that, I would actually like people to testify."

The president added that his former national security adviser John Bolton, who said he would not testify before impeachment investigators until a similar lawsuit involving his deputy has played out, "is a patriot and may know" Trump did not do anything wrong by withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine at the same time he was pushing for the country to investigate the Bidens and Democrats.

"Likewise, I would love to have Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, Mick Mulvaney and many others testify about the phony Impeachment Hoax," Trump wrote. "It is a Democrat Scam that is going nowhere but, future Presidents should in no way be compromised. What has happened to me should never happen to another President!"

Read the story.

CNN poll shows impeachment views unchanged from before public hearings

A new national CNN poll has found that views on impeachment remain locked in place, with 50 percent of Americans supporting Trump’s removal from office and 43 percent opposed. The results show no change from a month ago despite two weeks of public hearings in the House's two-month-old impeachment inquiry.

Trump has been tweeting the claim that polls show declining support for the inquiry, citing, for example, a Politico/Morning Consult poll from last week that Vanity Fair analyzed, focusing on independents. But most polls are showing a steady average percentage level of support hovering in the mid- to high-40s after an initial uptick when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the inquiry in late September (those who say they don't support for impeachment have been averaging in the low- to mid-40s percentage-wise).

Among the CNN poll's other findings: 

  • Trump’s job approval rating is at 42 percent among all adults (up a percentage point from last month), while his disapproval rating is 54 percent (down three points from October).
  • 53 percent of respondents say Trump used the presidency improperly to gain political advantage against a potential 2020 opponent (up four points from October), while 42 percent said he did not use the office improperly (down a point from last month).
  • 56 percent of those surveyed said Trump was out to benefit himself personally regarding Ukraine, versus 36 percent who said he was interested more in fighting corruption in the country.
  • 40 percent say Democrats abused their constitutional powers in their handling of the impeachment process, while 52 percent say they have not.

The poll was conducted from Nov. 21-24 and has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.

Pompeo on Ukraine conspiracy: 'America should leave no stone unturned'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the debunked conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine rather than Russia that hacked the 2016 election, a major talking point floated by Trump and his allies in recent weeks in response to the impeachment inquiry.

Pompeo appeared to defend the president's asking Ukraine to look into the conspiracy, saying that America has an "obligation" to address any and all allegation of election interference.

"I can assure you, there were many countries that were actively engaged in trying to undermine American democracy, our rule of law, the fundamental understandings we have here in the United States," he said, adding that "America should leave no stone unturned. So whatever nation it is, that we have information that so much as suggests that there might be an interference or an effort to interfere in our elections, we have an obligation to make sure that the American people get to go to the ballot box cast their ballots in a way that is impacted by these malevolent actors trying to undermine our Western democratic values."

GOP senator renounces Ukraine hacking claim, sort of

Sen. John Kennedy is backpedaling from his claims that Ukraine could be responsible for hacking Democratic emails during the 2016 election — with a caveat.

The Louisiana Republican told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Monday night that he was wrong to tell "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace the day before that he didn't know, "nor do you, nor do any of us," whether Russia or Ukraine was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee server and the Clinton campaign's emails.

"Right," Kennedy said when Wallace countered that the entire U.S. intelligence community points to Russia as culpable. "But it could also be Ukraine. I’m not saying that I know one way or the other."

President Donald Trump asked Ukraine to investigate the debunked 2016 conspiracy theory — a key component of the House impeachment inquiry — as well as the Bidens.

The New York Times reported Friday that U.S. intelligence officials briefed senators in recent weeks that Russia has engaged in a years-long effort to frame Ukraine for their politically motivated hacking in 2016. In addition, former Trump aide Fiona Hill said last week that the allegation that Ukraine, and not Russia, was responsible for interfering in the 2016 election was "a fictional narrative being propagated by the Russian security services themselves."

On Monday, Kennedy said on "Cuomo Prime Time" that he had misheard Wallace's question and offered a correction: "I was wrong. The only evidence I have, and I think it's overwhelming, is that it was Russia who tried to hack the DNC computer. ... I've seen no indication that Ukraine tried to do it."

But, Kennedy added, when asked why Trump continues to push the Ukraine narrative despite his own intelligence agencies saying it isn't true, "There is a lot of evidence, proven and unproven, everybody's got an opinion, that Ukraine did try to interfere, along with Russia and probably others in the 2016 election."

OPINION: President Trump's dictator-like administration is attacking the values America holds dear

We’re up against a crisis I never thought I’d see in my lifetime: a dictator-like attack by President Donald Trump on everything this country stands for. As last week’s impeachment hearings made clear, our shared tolerance and respect for the truth, our sacred rule of law, our essential freedom of the press and our precious freedoms of speech — all have been threatened by a single man.

It’s time for Trump to go — along with those in Congress who have chosen party loyalty over their oath to “solemnly affirm” their support for the Constitution of the United States. And it’s up to us to make that happen, through the power of our votes.

Read more here.

Supreme Court blocks subpoena for Trump financial records

The U.S. Supreme Court late Monday blocked a House subpoena directing President Donald Trump's accounting firm to turn over several years' worth of financial documents, giving the president at least a temporary legal victory.

In a brief order, the court said the subpoena would remain on hold until the president's lawyers file their appeal and the court acts on the case. The court gave his lawyers until Dec. 5 to file their appeal, a sign the justices intend to move quickly. But if the court agrees to hear the appeal, the stay would remain in effect for several more months.

The Democratic majority on the House Oversight Committee issued the subpoena in April, ordering the accounting firm Mazars USA to turn over Trump-related financial documents covering 2011 through 2018. The committee said it acted after former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified that "Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes."

Read the story.