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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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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

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.

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."

Read the full story.

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.”

Read the story.

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.