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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

Download the NBC News mobile app for the latest news on the impeachment inquiry

Live Blog

Judge puts brief hold on McGahn testimony order

The federal judge who ruled that former White House counsel Don McGahn must comply with a House subpoena for his testimony put her ruling on a brief hold Wednesday.

Such holds, known as administrative stays, are often issued to give lawyers a change to file their appeals. U.S. District Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson said her order "should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits" of keeping her ruling on a longer hold. Instead, she said, the order would give her time to consider the government's request for a longer stay.

After Jackson's ruling on Monday, in which she rejected the government's claim that senior White House advisers are absolutely immune to congressional subpoenas, the Justice Department immediately filed notice that it would appeal. Lawyers for the House told the judge that while they would not oppose a brief stay, they would oppose a longer one that lasted throughout the appeals process, saying, "Such a stay would impair the House’s ongoing impeachment inquiry."

Read the story.

Trump says he didn't direct Giuliani's Ukraine efforts. Witnesses say otherwise.

President Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday that he did not direct his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to have Ukraine dig up dirt on his political rivals, contradicting testimony from several witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry.

"No, I didn't direct him but he's a warrior, Rudy's a warrior. Rudy went, he possibly saw something,” Trump told former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in an interview.

Asked by O’Reilly what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine on Trump's behalf, the president said: "You have to ask that to Rudy, but Rudy, I don't, I don't even know. I know he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he canceled a trip. But, you know, Rudy has other clients other than me. I'm one person."

Trump added that Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, had done “a lot of work in Ukraine over the years, and I think, I mean, that's what I heard, I might have even read that someplace.”

Read the full story.

Article II: Inside Impeachment — We've got mail

In Wednesday's episode of "Article II," host Steve Kornacki, national political correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, opens up the mailbag with Julia Ainsley, NBC News' justice and homeland security correspondent, to answer listeners' questions about the impeachment inquiry.

Among the questions discussed: What was the impact of the Trump administration’s decision to withhold aid to Ukraine? Is the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, legally allowed to handle matters of foreign policy? Will Trump have the opportunity to answer for himself in the impeachment inquiry? Did Republicans who supported President Richard Nixon during Watergate pay a political price, and are there parallels to today?

Download the podcast.

Judge delays sentencing for ex-Trump aide Michael Flynn

A federal judge on Wednesday delayed the sentencing date for Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's first national security adviser.

Flynn was to be sentenced Dec. 18, but his lawyers and federal prosecutors asked for a delay. They said a report from the Justice Department's inspector general examining aspects of the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign, due out Dec. 9, could contain material relevant to the sentencing. They also said the judge has yet to rule on a dispute between the prosecutors and Flynn's lawyers over the government's production of documents that the defense said could have affected Flynn's decision to plead guilty.

Flynn entered his plea two years ago to a single charge of lying to the FBI. He admitted that four days into his job as White House national security adviser, he falsely denied having two separate contacts during the Trump transition with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

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Read the full text: Mark Sandy's testimony to House investigators

Mark Sandy, the deputy associate director for national security programs at 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, the first OMB staffer to testify in the inquiry, testified behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee on Nov. 16.

Read the transcript:

 

Democrats question why DOJ inspector general isn't investigating Trump's attorneys general

As the Justice Department's internal watchdog prepares to release a long-awaited report examining the FBI's conduct in 2016 and 2017 in the Russia investigation, Democrats are expressing frustration over what they view as his failure to examine the conduct of Donald Trump's attorneys general over the past two years.

While inspectors general at other major cabinet agencies have conducted high profile investigations of Trump appointees, the Justice Department's Michael Horowitz — appointed by President Obama in 2012 and confirmed by the Senate — has not. Trump's three attorney general appointees — Jeff Sessions, Matthew Whitaker and William Barr — have each escaped serious scrutiny from an inspector general who investigated Eric Holder, Obama's first attorney general, and many of his top deputies. It's a record that puzzles his allies and infuriates critics.

"I don't have so much of a problem with Horowitz investigating some of the allegations surrounding the 2016 election, because that's his job," said Matthew Miller, a Democratic former DOJ spokesman and NBC News legal analyst. "But it is striking to me that with all of Barr's known misconduct, all of the instances of conversations between senior leadership and the White House, there doesn't seem to have been a single investigation into any that."

Barr disputes that he has engaged in misconduct. Congressional Democrats argue he has done the political bidding of the president and has improperly discussed sensitive cases with the White House, including the special counsel's Russia probe. They have also questioned the premise of the ongoing criminal investigation that Barr commissioned into its origins.

Read the full story.