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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.

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Live Blog

White House budget office formally held Ukraine aid on same day as Trump-Zelenskiy call

The White House Office of Management and Budget made its first official move to withhold military aid to Ukraine on July 25, the same day President Donald Trump spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy by phone, according to a summary of OMB documents produced by the House Budget Committee.

The OMB documents also show that while a career official signed that first letter to withhold the apportionment of the funds, subsequent letters to freeze the aid were signed by a political appointee, Michael Duffey, the office's associated director for national security programs. Duffey has refused to testify before House impeachment investigators despite being served with a subpoena on Oct. 25.

The Budget Committee's summary of the documents says the review of the materials made the lawmakers "more concerned that the apportionment process has been abused to undermine Congress’s constitutional power of the purse," specifically citing the timeline of the withholding of aid and the "seemingly unprecedented step" of having a political appointee handle the apportionments of funding.

Read the full story.

Two OMB staffers quit after expressing frustration about frozen Ukraine aid, top official says

Mark Sandy, a career staffer in the White House Office of Management and Budget, told impeachment investigators that two budget staffers left the agency after expressing frustrations about the unexplained hold on Ukrainian aid, according to new closed-door transcripts released Tuesday.

Sandy said that one staffer, who worked in OMB’s legal office and whose name was undisclosed, told him they were leaving the agency, at least in part, because of their concerns regarding the hold on Ukraine security assistance.

Sandy, who is the deputy associate director for national security Programs at OMB, testified behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee, one of the committees leading the impeachment inquiry, on Nov. 16. He is the first OMB staffer to testify in the inquiry.

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Trump: Pardoned Thanksgiving turkeys have 'already received subpoenas'

Trump, who pardoned two turkeys named “Bread” and “Butter” as part of the White House Thanksgiving tradition Tuesday, used the annual event to joke about the House impeachment inquiry.

"Thankfully, Bread and Butter have been specially raised by the Jacksons to remain calm under any condition, which will be very important because they've already received subpoenas to appear in Adam Schiff's basement on Thursday," Trump said.

"It seems the Democrats are accusing me of being too soft on turkey, but Bread and Butter — I should note that, unlike previous witnesses, you and I have actually met. It's very unusual," Trump continued.

Read the full story here.

Bolton's lawyer says McGahn ruling has no bearing on former Trump adviser's testimony

WASHINGTON — The court ruling compelling former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before the House Judiciary Committee has no bearing on whether ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton is compelled to testify, Bolton's lawyer said on Tuesday.

Charles Cooper, who represents Bolton and former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman, maintains that McGahn's case doesn't apply to his clients because Monday's court ruling does not answer whether presidential communications involving issues of national security are subject to "absolute testimonial immunity."

Read more here.

House Judiciary Committee announces its first impeachment hearing, invites Trump to attend

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday announced it will hold its first public impeachment hearing next week, and invited President Donald Trump and his lawyers "to participate."

"I am hopeful that you and your counsel will opt to participate in the Committee's hearing, consistent with the rules of decorum and with the solemn nature before us," Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said in a letter announcing the hearing.

Nadler said the hearing, which will focus on "Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment," will take place on Dec. 4.

Nadler said the hearing comes as the inquiry enters "a new phase."

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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!"

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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.