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Articles of impeachment against Trump: Live updates and the latest news

Democrats in the House are moving quickly in their effort to remove the president.
Image: President Donald Trump is facing allegations that he tried to strong-arm a foreign leader into launching an investigation that might hurt Democratic contender Joe Biden. In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed impeachment proceedings.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

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The fast-moving impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, stemming from the president's dealings with Ukraine, involves numerous hearings, depositions and subpoenas of present and former top administration officials and other figures, more than a few presidential tweets — and now articles of impeachment.

Follow us here for all of the latest breaking news and analysis from NBC News' political reporters, as well as our teams on Capitol Hill and at the White House.

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The 10 most important lines from the Democrats' impeachment report

The Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee released its report Tuesday summarizing the evidence it has collected in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

The report cited two instances of improper conduct: obstruction of the House inquiry and withholding the aid from Ukraine on the condition of investigating a Trump political rival.

Here are the 10 most important lines from the report.

Democrats' impeachment report cites Trump obstruction and withholding aid, warns of 'grave harm'

WASHINGTON — The Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee released a report Tuesday containing a summary of the evidence it has collected in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

The report cited two instances of improper conduct: obstruction of the House inquiry and withholding the aid from Ukraine on the condition of investigating a Trump political rival.

"No other President has flouted the Constitution and power of Congress to conduct oversight to this extent," the report said.

"If left unanswered, President Trump's ongoing effort to thwart Congress' impeachment power risks doing grave harm to the institution of Congress, the balance of power between our branches of government, and the Constitutional order that the President and every Member of Congress have sworn to protect and defend."

Read more about the report here.

How the articles of impeachment could be laid out

As Democrats prepare to draft articles of impeachment, "you could wind up with 3 or 4 articles," according to two individuals involved in the Judiciary Committee process:

  • One to two on abuse of power (The question is whether you have 1 overarching abuse of power article here or break out bribery and potentially extortion.) Abuse of power, specifically, is defined as pushing a foreign govt to interfere in 2020 (a betrayal of the country and his oath) in ways that involve bribery and/or extortion as well as abuse of appropriations power in order to benefit himself personally/politically. 
  • One on broader contempt/obstruction of Congress based on the administration stonewalling congressional oversight and ordering officials not to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas related to numerous investigations, including Ukraine. Note: Cipollone’s Oct. 8 letter to Pelosi calling the Ukraine probe “constitutionally invalid,” they believe, is a slam dunk.
  • Finally, one related to the Mueller report and obstruction of justice. They’re even discussing whether threatening a witness while she testifies (Yovanovitch) should be cited as witness tampering.

There are serious strategic considerations being debated about what the ultimate floor vote looks like, mainly allowing members from more moderate districts to vote for some articles and against others. For instance, there’s a lot more agreement among members over voting for articles related to Ukraine than there is over Mueller.

The pushback to make the impeachment articles broader also continues as the more progressive members favor more articles that encompass more charges of wrongdoing beyond Ukraine, such as Mueller or alleged emoluments violations. Leadership has wanted more limited articles focusing on Ukraine, citing the need to make the case clear and easy to communicate (which we’ve previously reported). Yet numerous committees have been working for months on their own investigations of corruption and Nadler is expecting reports from them as well.

Graham: 'Stretch to suggest Ukraine meddled'

Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., spoke to reporters on a variety of topics. Asked if he believes Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election, Graham said, "I have no knowledge that the Ukraine did anything to interfere with our elections other than the press reports, and to suggest that we know that I think would be a stretch because I don't think anybody does."

He also said he hoped that "somebody is looking into it again."

Trump calls Schiff 'deranged,' says he would 'love' for Cabinet members to testify if inquiry were fair

Trump attacked House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff on the sidelines of the NATO meeting in London on Tuesday, calling the congressman "deranged" and a liar and adding that he would allow his Cabinet officials to testify in the impeachment proceedings if the process were fair.

"I don’t learn anything from Adam Schiff. I think he’s a maniac," Trump said when asked what he hoped to learn by seeking Schiff's testimony in the inquiry. "I think Adam Schiff is a deranged human being. I think he grew up with a complex for lots of reasons that are obvious. I think he’s a very sick man. And he lies. Adam Schiff made up my conversation with the president of Ukraine,” a reference to Schiff's self-described parody of Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during his opening statement at a hearing in September. 

Trump also defended his refusal to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, calling it "a total fix."

“We don’t get a lawyer, we don’t get any witnesses," Trump said. "We want Biden, we want the son – Hunter, where’s Hunter? We want the son, we want Schiff, we want to interview these people. Well, they said, 'No, can’t do it. We can’t do it.’ So when it’s fair — and it will be fair in the Senate — I would love to have [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo, I would love to have [acting chief of staff ] Mick [Mulvaney], I’d love to have [former Energy Secretary] Rick Perry, and many other people testify ... but I don’t want them to testify when this is a total fix.”

State Dept. undersecretary: 'I am not' aware of any efforts by Ukraine to meddle in 2016 election

Senior State Department official David Hale said Tuesday that he didn't know of any evidence that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

Asked at a Senate Foreign Relations hearing whether he was aware of any such evidence, Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, told lawmakers, "I am not."

Hale's answer counters the growing support among some Republican senators for the idea that Ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 election in support of Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton — a notion that ex-Trump White House Russia adviser Fiona Hill described as a "fictional narrative" in her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee last month.

Under questioning from Democratic senators, Hale also said Russian interference was not a hoax — in contrast with Trump's repeated questioning of the conclusion of his own intelligence agencies that Russians meddled in the 2016 election in an attempt to boost his candidacy. 

Read the full story.

'One story of betrayal': Dems release highlight reel from two weeks of public testimony

Schiff: 'Overwhelming' evidence of Trump obstruction

George Conway takes swipe at wife Kellyanne Conway on Twitter

It's no secret that top presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway and her husband, a frequent Trump critic, don't see eye to eye on the president. On Monday, they duked it out on Twitter after conservative lawyer George Conway needled his wife about a Joe Biden tweet.

Kellyanne Conway had retweeted a brief video clip of the former vice president speaking to a crowd, along with a comment: “Sleepy Joe is Creepy Joe,” she wrote. “We need Ukraine’s help to defeat THIS guy?”

To which George Conway responded: “Your boss apparently thought so.”

Read the story.

First Read: Democrats sing different tunes on impeachment as GOP closes ranks

If the Democrats have the substance on their side in the impeachment fight — in terms of the public testimony, the released documents and all of the text messages — Republicans are now the ones with the more unified message.

Case in point is what’s playing out on the 2020 presidential campaign trail, with the Democratic candidates talking about health care, tax policy and racial equity — but barely mentioning the biggest political story in Washington.

Bottom line: Republicans are messaging the existential threat that impeachment brings, arguing that the entire process subverts the will of voters. But Democrats aren’t messaging that same existential threat. In fact, they’re also arguing that the best way to defeat Trump is at the ballot box in 2020.

At some point, that messaging disparity is going to be unsustainable for Democrats. How do you make the case that the sitting president of the United States can’t run for re-election when your party’s presidential candidates aren’t making that same case?

Get First Read's take.