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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.
Image: Impeachment live blog
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

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

1133d ago / 3:05 PM UTC

1133d ago / 2:48 PM UTC

Biden clarifies impeachment subpoena stance after saying he would defy one to keep focus on Trump

Former Vice President Joe Biden took to Twitter on Saturday to clarify whether he would comply with a Senate subpoena throughout the impeachment trial after previously skirting around the question.  

Biden said earlier this month that he would not comply, claiming his appearance would serve as a distraction against the focus of the impeachment inquiry, President Donald Trump. Biden also did not directly answer the question posed by the Des Moines Register editorial board Friday.

He later told reporters that he did not believe him defying a subpoena would set a precedent for future presidential nominees to do the same.

The Democratic presidential candidate suggested on Saturday that he would comply given his history of cooperating “with legitimate congressional oversight requests.”

Jamal Brown, a campaign spokesman, told NBC News Biden would appear before Congress if ordered.

 

The campaign said that even though Biden would comply, he does not see the legal grounds for him to be issued a subpoena since he’s not the subject of the investigation. Instead, he calls for White House officials to be called forward.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham has said that he would not call Biden or his son Hunter before the committee during the impeachment trial, which is set to start next month.

 

1134d ago / 10:18 PM UTC

OPINION: Trump claims Pelosi and impeachment offend all Americans of faith. He's wrong.

On the eve of his impeachment in the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump released a six-page screed attacking the entire process and everyone who has led it. Though his fate as the third president in U.S. history to be impeached was all but sealed, he wanted to make clear that he considers it an insult — particularly against Christian nationalists who believe he is doing God’s work in the White House.

“You are offending Americans of faith, saying ‘I pray for the President,’ when you know this is not true,” Trump wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In an appeal to the offended, he tweeted “say a PRAYER” before the House convened Wednesday morning.

If the president seems especially concerned about religion as he faces impeachment, the reason is clear: Without the support of religious nationalists who have rallied behind him through (nearly) every controversy, he doesn’t have a prayer.

Read the rest here.

1134d ago / 10:12 PM UTC
1134d ago / 9:19 PM UTC

Trump revives attacks on Pelosi amid impeachment standoff

1134d ago / 7:59 PM UTC

Congressman: Trump 'trying to create a chilling effect' on witnesses

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC on Friday that he thinks Trump is trying to create a chilling effect on people who might come forward with evidence of wrongdoing relevant to his impeachment.

He said he is "concerned" about the backlash that some impeachment witnesses have received.

"I personally believe that the testimony that people like Lt. Col. Vindman or Fiona Hill or others offer is all the more compelling because testifying does nothing to further their career interests," he said. "It actually harms their potential careers in government.  And so kudos to them. They are to be commended. They are true patriots for coming forward, and, quite frankly, telling us the truth."

1134d ago / 4:29 PM UTC

Dem Rep. says McConnell 'breaking the rules' on impeachment

Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan, Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, discussed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment strategy during a Friday morning appearance on CNN.

"She is relentless in trying to get to the bottom of this, get the truth out about this," he said. "And every time Donald Trump refused to have witnesses come to the House, we still were able to find all this information so that we could get to point of having the impeachment happen in the House."

Pocan added, “Mitch McConnell already said that he's working hand in hand with the White House on this. He's not impartial juror, that's again breaking the rules that exist. She is simply trying to get the Senate to follow the rules so that the American people can really see the truth front and center and that means allowing some of those key people from the administration to be able to testify."

1134d ago / 1:59 PM UTC
1135d ago / 9:54 PM UTC

Kennedy: Senators 'ought to send' Pelosi a 'fruit basket' for impeachment delay

Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy spoke to reporters on Thursday about impeachment, saying that "we probably ought to send her a fruit basket for not sending us something that we don’t want to deal with, and get back to work."

On witnesses, Kennedy said Schumer "better be careful what he asks for because if he gets his witnesses, I’m sure that the president is going to want his witnesses, and the president’s witnesses won’t be subject to a claim of executive privilege and Chuck’s might.” Kennedy says he’d be “surprised if the President didn’t certainly claim executive privilege” on witnesses.

He also said that “I don’t know” if Schumer and McConnell will ever reach an agreement but “that’s why God made a majority vote. 51 votes in the Senate will decide how we proceed. But we don’t have the case, I don’t know if the Speaker will actually ever give us the case.” Kennedy said that he’d like “both sides to be treated equally,” adding “within reason I want to allow each side to try its own case.”

1135d ago / 6:36 PM UTC
1135d ago / 6:33 PM UTC

Cohen: Impeachment trial 'will fail' if senators can't call witnesses

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, appeared on CNN Thursday morning discussing the impeachment inquiry.

When asked about the Senate trial, Cohen said, “one of the things we're responsible for is the public's support for our system of government and for respect for the United States Senate. And that will fall, if there's not a fair trial and over 70% of the public wants to see witnesses.” 

Cohen added that “the most important information available, the direct evidence, is being held from the Judiciary Committee and from the Congress and the most important witnesses in this impeachment trial are being kept from the American people and not to be allowed to go forward and testify so that the people can hear the facts and the jurors, the Senators, can make a fair verdict based on all of the statements.”

 

1135d ago / 5:10 PM UTC

Indicted Giuliani associate drops one of his lawyers

Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani facing charges of violating campaign finance laws, is down to one attorney having dropped prominent defense counsel Ed MacMahon Jr.

In a filing on Dec. 24, MacMahon said, “Mr. Parnas’ apparent ability to fund his defense has diminished” adding, “it thus would constitute a significant hardship for Mr. Parnas to continue being represented by two attorneys in this matter.”

Parnas will remain represented by Joseph Bondy who has been to all of his court appearances and has been actively talking about Parnas on Twitter as well as expressing his client’s desire to testify in front of Congress.

1135d ago / 4:41 PM UTC
1135d ago / 3:37 PM UTC

'Liars!': Trump fires off post-Christmas tweetstorm over impeachment impasse

President Donald Trump fired off a stream of post-Christmas tweets Thursday blasting Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, and her San Francisco congressional district amid the impeachment impasse.

"The Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats said they wanted to RUSH everything through to the Senate because 'President Trump is a threat to National Security' (they are vicious, will say anything!), but now they don’t want to go fast anymore, they want to go very slowly," Trump tweeted. "Liars!"

The president attacked Pelosi's congressional district as "filthy dirty" and "one of the worst anywhere in the U.S." Calling Pelosi "crazy," Trump also suggested she should face a 2020 primary challenge.

Read more here.

1135d ago / 2:32 PM UTC
1135d ago / 2:23 PM UTC

Trump says Pelosi's 'desperate' and 'hates all of the people that voted for me'

President Donald Trump on Tuesday slammed Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for pressing the impeachment case against him, saying, "She hates the Republican Party, she hates all of the people that voted for me and the Republican Party, and she's desperate."

In remarks to reporters after a video teleconference with members of the military on Christmas Eve from his Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida, Trump complained that he had been treated "very unfairly" by House Democrats who impeached him on two articles last week.

He echoed those comments in tweets on Wednesday.

1135d ago / 2:09 PM UTC

Murkowski 'disturbed' by McConnell comments about impeachment trial

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Tuesday she was "disturbed" that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would engage in "total coordination" with the White House regarding the upcoming Senate trial of President Donald Trump.

In an interview with Anchorage's local NBC affiliate KTUU broadcast Tuesday, Murkowski — who earlier in the year refused to defend Trump from the Democrats' impeachment inquiry — said McConnell's comments "has further confused" the impeachment process.

Her remarks suggest that there is at least a degree of dissension with the Republican Senate ranks as the chamber prepares to embark on a trial of Trump in 2020, following his impeachment in the House last week on two articles, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Read more here.

1138d ago / 12:53 AM UTC

Article II - Rudy's Helpers - Monday, December 23rd

Today on Article II, Steve Kornacki talks to Dan de Luce, national security and global affairs reporter for NBC News, about the Ukranian individuals helping Rudy Giuliani as he continues his work on behalf of the President.

The two discuss:

  • What we know about the work Rudy Giuliani continues to do overseas, despite the federal investigation against him and the President’s impeachment
  • Who’s working with Rudy: an explainer of the most important characters connected to the President’s lawyer
  • What to expect next from Rudy Giuliani in his work to defend the President

 

1138d ago / 11:35 PM UTC

Graham: Senate GOP 'should take matters into our own hands' if Pelosi doesn't act soon

1138d ago / 10:31 PM UTC

Schumer: 'Witnesses and documents are the main argument here'

Schumer held a press conference on Monday in his New York office discussing the need for witnesses and specific documents in the impeachment trial, particularly in light of new emails released from OMB official Michael Duffey.

"If everything was on the up and up, if the call was perfect as Trump said, why does one of his top aides who's a political appointee say let's keep it hush-hush?" he said. "The new emails from Mr. Duffey and the Trump administration show why it's so important for the White House to produce the documents we have requested. They will shed light on who ordered the aid cut, and why they ordered it. If there was ever an argument that we need Mr. Duffey and others to come testify under oath, and an argument that we need documents related to what was revealed by Mr. Duffey's actions this is it. "

On negotiations with McConnell, Schumer said, “Look, the witnesses and documents are the main argument here. We must decide them and hopefully we can decide them in a bipartisan way before going forward with a trial.” Schumer also says he will “at the very minimum require votes from all the Senators for each of the witnesses and about each of these sets of documents.”

1138d ago / 9:58 PM UTC

Impeachment 2? House lawyers say more charges possible

Lawyers for the House Judiciary Committee floated the possibility that the panel could take up additional articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, according to a document filed to a federal appeals court on Monday.

Urging the court to compel former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify, the committee's lawyers said that McGahn's testimony could lead to more revelations about the president's behavior.

“If McGahn’s testimony produces new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the Articles approved by the House, the Committee will proceed accordingly — including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment,” the lawyers said.

Read the full story.

1138d ago / 9:08 PM UTC

Giuliani says he's 'more of a Jew' than Holocaust survivor George Soros

Rudy Giuliani says he's "more of a Jew" than liberal billionaire George Soros, who survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary as a teen.

In a remarkable interview with New York magazine, President Donald Trump's lawyer painted the Jewish Soros — a frequent target of conspiracy theories about Jews controlling the world — as a puppet master who has secretly been pulling the strings in Ukraine.

“Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him,” Giuliani said. “Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is. I probably know more about — he doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t go to religion — synagogue. He doesn’t belong to a synagogue, he doesn’t support Israel, he’s an enemy of Israel. He’s elected eight anarchist DAs in the United States. He’s a horrible human being.”

He said former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch — who testified in the impeachment inquiry that she'd been smeared and forced out of her job by Giuliani — was "controlled" by Soros. “He put all four ambassadors there. And he’s employing the FBI agents,” Giuliani told the magazine.

Read the full story.

1138d ago / 7:26 PM UTC

OPINION: As Trump's impeachment heads to the Senate, Democrats should push for witnesses (including Hunter Biden)

Schumer and Senate Democrats should agree to the witnesses that Trump claims he wants. There is no real downside, but the payoff could be huge.

Read more here.

1138d ago / 6:13 PM UTC

Van Hollen: Pelosi is spotlighting the need for a fair trial

1138d ago / 5:45 PM UTC

Kennedy on impeachment: 'Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue'

Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, appeared on Fox Business on Monday and discussed the upcoming Senate impeachment trial.

When asked about his constituents' opinion of the process, Kennedy said his constituents do not have a high opinion of Congress and often ask if members of Congress “suffer from mental illness.” He called Pelosi’s decision to withhold the articles of impeachment from the Senate “odd,” adding that it “looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.”

Kennedy said the impeachment process in the House was “rigged” and “as fixed as a carnival ring toss” because Trump was not able to call witnesses or offer evidence. At the end of the interview, Kennedy expressed optimism that senators would give Trump a fair trial.

1138d ago / 4:05 PM UTC
1138d ago / 2:12 PM UTC

McConnell on Pelosi withholding articles: 'I'm not anxious to have this trial'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Monday that he doesn't mind if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., delays sending his chamber the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump for a little longer and added that he wants a trial to proceed similarly to that of President Bill Clinton.

"She's apparently trying to tell us how to run the trial," McConnell told Fox News when asked about Pelosi's decision to withhold the articles from his chamber for the time being. "I'm not anxious to have this trial, so [if] she wants all of the papers, go right ahead.”

The Senate trial cannot begin until the speaker sends the two articles. After the House adopted the articles last week, Pelosi decided not to transmit them to the Senate in a bid to ensure that the proceedings would be impartial.

McConnell added that he is advocating that the Senate trial be handled the same way that Clinton's was 20 years ago.

"You listen  to the opening arguments, you have a written question period, and at that point in the Clinton trial, we had a decision about which witnesses to call, and as you can imagine, that was a pretty partisan exercise," McConnell said. "But we didn't let the partisan part of it keep  us from getting started. So all I'm doing is saying what was good enough for President Clinton is good enough for President Trump.

1138d ago / 1:53 PM UTC

Trump blasts Pelosi for 'crying for fairness' in Senate trial

President Donald Trump on Monday decried House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's call for "fairness" in a Senate trial as both chambers of Congress remain at a stalemate over the next steps in his impeachment.

"Pelosi gives us the most unfair trial in the history of the U.S. Congress, and now she is crying for fairness in the Senate, and breaking all rules while doing so," Trump tweeted. "She lost Congress once, she will do it again!"

Trump tweeted shortly after Pelosi, D-Calif., posted that the House "cannot choose our impeachment managers until we know what sort of trial the Senate will conduct."

"President Trump blocked his own witnesses and documents from the House, and from the American people, on phony complaints about the House process," she tweeted. "What is his excuse now?"

Read the full story.

1138d ago / 1:38 PM UTC

Inside Giuliani's new push to flip the script on Trump's impeachment

Even as President Donald Trump awaits a trial in the Senate, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is moving full speed ahead with new allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden and the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, the very individuals targeted by Trump in events that triggered his impeachment.

In recent weeks, Giuliani — himself under federal investigation for his Ukraine activities — has cryptically teased what he calls new “proof” buttressing charges about Biden and purported corruption during the Obama administration, attempting to flip the script by contending that Democrats — not the president — are the ones guilty of obstruction and collusion with a foreign power to influence elections.

The allegations point to four Ukrainian would-be whistleblowers he says Yovanovitch silenced through visa denials, and include two multibillion-dollar schemes he says he’s uncovered and that Yovanovitch and the Obama administration conspired to cover up.

In tweets and interviews, the former New York City mayor has been intentionally vague about both the allegations and his newfound proof, while vowing to eventually reveal it to the Department of Justice and a trio of senators.

Read the full story.

1138d ago / 1:10 PM UTC
1138d ago / 1:06 PM UTC

Debbie Dingell on Trump's insulting her late husband: 'There are lines you don't cross'

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., on Sunday said President Donald Trump crossed a line when he suggested last week that her late husband, longtime Rep. John Dingell, was "looking up" from hell, but that she is not looking for an apology.

“I think there are lines you don’t cross, and I think he crossed a line there,” Dingell told “Fox News Sunday.” "I don’t want an apology, I don’t want a campaign to begin around that."

“What I do want is for people to take a deep breath and think going forward that their words have consequences, that they can hurt, and how do we bring more civility back to our political environment,” she said.

Read the full story.

1139d ago / 8:37 PM UTC

Trump lashes out at Pelosi, Democrats

1139d ago / 5:08 PM UTC

McCaskill: 'The Senate is no longer what it was'

1139d ago / 4:24 PM UTC

GOP senator defends Trump: Obama also made 'plenty of mistakes' on Ukraine

Republicans on Sunday continued their sustained defense of President Donald Trump's Ukraine dealings, including his July 25 call with the Ukrainian president which became the cornerstone of Democrats' impeachment case.

Asked about the phone call, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., deflected and said that Trump’s predecessor made "plenty of mistakes" in regards to Ukraine, too.

“I don’t know if this call was a mistake, but again I think there were plenty of mistakes that were made by both President Obama and President Trump in how to deal with Russian aggression in Ukraine,” Blunt told CNN's "State of the Union."

Blunt added that he felt House Democrats had failed during their weeks of hearings to make a convincing case that Trump should be impeached.

“I don’t think they made the case, I don’t think they came close to making the case,” Blunt said.

Read more here.

1139d ago / 4:22 PM UTC

Sen. Booker: 'Both sides of the aisle are fatigued' by impeachment

1139d ago / 3:50 PM UTC

Top Pence aide: Delaying Senate trial undercuts Democratic claims impeachment was 'urgent'

Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff argued Sunday that the House Democrats’ delay in turning over impeachment articles to the Senate has undercut their own arguments about the urgency in pursuing the process in the first place.

“It's a really untenable position, we think, for Speaker Pelosi to say, ‘this president is such a clear and urgent danger to the world, to the globe, that we have to basically trample his constitutional rights, to force a quick impeachment,' and then say, 'well, we're going to hold up impeachment papers,'” Pence's aide, Marc Short, said Sunday during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“How can you possibly justify the contrast to say, ‘this is urgent,’ to then say, ‘well, we'll have to wait and see?’”

1139d ago / 2:35 PM UTC

Democrat, Republican standoff continues over Senate trial

1139d ago / 1:14 AM UTC

Newly released emails provide details in White House pause of Ukraine aid

and

Newly released emails between the Office of Management and Budget and the Pentagon regarding Ukraine defense aid held by the White House further reveal that a request to withhold funds came less than two hours after President Trump had his July phone call with the Ukrainian president that has served as the backbone of the impeachment proceedings against him.

"Based on guidance I have received and in light of the Administration's plan to review assistance to Ukraine, including the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, please hold off on any additional [Department of Defense] obligations of these funds, pending direction from that process," Mike Duffey, a political appointee serving as associate director for national security programs at OMB, wrote on July 25 to OMB and Pentagon officials.

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The Center for Public Integrity obtained 146 pages of heavily redacted emails through a Freedom of Information Act request and court order. The nonprofit released the emails late on Friday, revealing a discussion between the White House's Office of Management and Budget and the Pentagon over the defense aid owed to Ukraine just hours after Trump spoke to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Government officials raised concern over the much-discussed phone conversation as it appeared that President Trump improperly asked Zelenskiy to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden — one of Trump's chief political rivals in the 2020 election.

For the full story click here

1140d ago / 5:29 PM UTC

Biden says impeachment is 'nothing to celebrate'

Former Vice President Joe Biden, a central figure in the impeachment against President Trump, said on Saturday that celebrating the moment is “counterproductive.”

"Don't get me wrong. It's not that I think it's unfair that Donald Trump had been impeached and trying to face the charges that have been made, but the idea that it's worth celebrating I find counterproductive because there's nothing to celebrate," Biden said at a campaign event in Iowa.

"But it does emphasize, in my view, why it's gonna be even more important — when this over, no matter how it turns out — to unify the country," he said. 

1140d ago / 4:48 AM UTC

 

1141d ago / 10:53 PM UTC

Article II: Inside Impeachment - Standoff

Lawmakers are home for the holidays , but the House of Representatives has some unfinished business. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is delaying next steps in the impeachment process. Pelosi says she won’t name impeachment managers or transmit the articles to the Senate until she knows more about Senator Mitch McConnell’s trial.

Beth Fouhy, guest host and senior politics editor for NBC News and MSNBC, talks with Garrett Haake, MSNBC Washington Correspondent about the Speaker’s strategy and how this standoff affects the impeachment timeline. 

To listen to the episode, click here.

 

1141d ago / 8:09 PM UTC

1141d ago / 7:30 PM UTC

White House counsel touring Senate floor in preparation for impeachment trial

and

White House counsel Pat Cipollone, joined by Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Ueland and other staff, went to the Capitol on Friday afternoon to tour the Senate floor ahead of the pending impeachment trial.

"Yes, we've been invited by the majority leader to see a little bit about how the setup works, where locations are,"  Ueland told NBC News. "Hopefully, it'll be just a good straightforward walk through physical locations and then we'll leave."

When asked if the White House is on the same page as McConnell, who said Thursday that it was fine with him if the House never sent the articles, Ueland said he's looking "forward to, ultimately, the speaker making some sort of decision.”  

“It is beyond passing strange that now they're sitting on the articles here during the Christmas holidays," he said. "Either it's important and urgent, or it's not."

Cipollone did not answer any of our questions.

 

1141d ago / 7:23 PM UTC

Harvard law prof who testified at Judiciary hearing says Trump isn’t impeached

1141d ago / 6:52 PM UTC
1141d ago / 6:49 PM UTC

Pelosi invites Trump to deliver the State of the Union two days after impeaching him

Less than 48 hours after she gaveled in the votes making him the third president to be impeached in United States history, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Feb. 4.

The three-paragraph letter to the president says she's extending the invitation in "the spirit of respecting our Constitution" — the document she and Trump have been accusing each other of besmirching in recent days.

The letter is signed, "best regards," and was sent three days after Trump sent Pelosi a seething six-page letter ripping her for proceeding with a vote on two articles of impeachment against him.

"By proceeding with your invalid impeachment, you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American Democracy." Trump wrote in his letter, which was signed "Sincerely yours."

Read the story.

1141d ago / 6:45 PM UTC
1141d ago / 5:25 PM UTC

OPINON: Nancy Pelosi was right about Trump's impeachment (and Democrats were wrong)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., opened the debate Wednesday on whether to impeach President Donald Trump solemnly. And after Trump became only the third president in the history of our Republic to be impeached Wednesday evening, there was no joyous celebration — in fact, the speaker icily stared down some in her own party who applauded the vote on the House floor.

That Trump was successfully impeached says a lot about the level of frustration with Trump in Washington right now. But it is also a sweet, sweet victory for Nancy Pelosi, who has been second-guessed and criticized at every step in the process.

Many on the left felt she had moved too slowly, arguing she should have opened an impeachment inquiry right after special counsel Robert Mueller released his detailed report in April. But I was wrong. In fact, all of us who pressured Pelosi to begin impeachment before she was ready were wrong.

Read the opinion piece.

1141d ago / 4:06 PM UTC
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1141d ago / 3:59 PM UTC

Pelosi: Power of gavel means Trump is 'impeached forever'

Nancy Pelosi promised as speaker she would "show the power of the gavel.” This year, she laid it out for all to see.

The past week alone, the Democratic leader delivered a $1.4 trillion government funding package to stop a shutdown, pushed through the bipartisan U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, and passed her party's plan to lower prescription drug costs. In between, she led a congressional delegation to Europe for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge.

And on Wednesday, she impeached the president.

As the first year of Pelosi’s second stint as speaker draws to a close — she is the only woman to hold the office, and the first speaker in 60 years to reclaim the gavel after losing it — the California Democrat took stock of whether she fulfilled her campaign trail promise.

“Donald Trump thinks so,“ Pelosi told The Associated Press during an interview Thursday at her office in the Capitol. ”He just got impeached. He’ll be impeached forever. No matter what the Senate does. He’s impeached forever because he violated our Constitution,” she said.

Read the full story.

1141d ago / 3:56 PM UTC
1141d ago / 3:52 PM UTC

Trump blasts evangelical magazine after it calls him 'profoundly immoral,' seeks his removal

President Donald Trump blasted the nation's pre-eminent evangelical publication Friday as a "far-left magazine" after it called for him to be removed from office for his "profoundly immoral" conduct.

"A far left magazine, or very 'progressive,' as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years, Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President," Trump tweeted.

"No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close," he continued. "You'll not get anything from those Dems on stage. I won't be reading ET again!" he wrote, apparently getting the initials of the magazine wrong.

Writing one day after the House voted to pass two articles of impeachment against Trump, Christianity Today Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli wrote that not only was Trump's conduct unconstitutional, but also "profoundly immoral."

Read the fully story.

1141d ago / 3:50 PM UTC

Major evangelical magazine calls for Trump's removal

1142d ago / 12:00 AM UTC

OPINION: After Trump impeachment vote in the House, Nancy Pelosi and Democrats have one card left

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald John Trump. Now, as the process moves forward, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., should consider delaying transmission of the two articles of impeachment to the Republican-controlled Senate — that is, until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., agrees to a fair trial.

In recent days, McConnell has signaled his intention to conduct a swift proceeding and has rejected a request from Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to call the top administration officials whom Trump had blocked from testifying in the House. Appearing on Fox News, McConnell declared: "Everything I do during this, I'm coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can."

Following the House vote, Pelosi noted that she would not be sending the impeachment articles that night. But I would argue that a brief pause is not enough. Pelosi should hold onto the articles until Democratic leadership can ensure a comprehensive, unbiased Senate trial. And the best way to do this is by using what little leverage they have left to compel the White House and McConnell to allow senior administration members to testify.

Read the full opinion piece.

1142d ago / 11:55 PM UTC
1142d ago / 11:44 PM UTC

McConnell declares 'impasse' in talks with Democrats over Trump trial in Senate

, and

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday that he remains at an “impasse” with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., over moving forward with the rules governing a Senate trial of President Donald Trump, who was impeached by the House on Wednesday.

McConnell and Schumer have openly feuded in recent days over their competing views of what a Senate trial of Trump — who became just the third president to be impeached — should look like.

In a brief Senate floor speech Thursday evening, McConnell said he’d had a “cordial” conversation with Schumer earlier in the day about the “potential paths forward” for a Senate trial.

He reiterated that he’d like the Senate to conform to the precedent set in 1999, during the Senate trial of then-President Bill Clinton, following his own impeachment. Back then, there was a two-resolution process: an initial agreement to first hear the prosecution and then the defense arguments, and a vote, later on, on whether to have witnesses or not.

 

Schumer has pushed for a single resolution that would set the parameters for the opening arguments and that would also allow for the calling of witnesses. Schumer has said he wants the Senate to call  former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, as well as two others, to testify about Trump’s Ukraine dealings.

“We remain at an impasse, because my friend, the Democratic leader, continues to demand a new and different set of rules for President Trump,” McConnell said Thursday.

McConnell also criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for taking the “highly unusual step” of waiting to transmit the approved House articles of impeachment to the Senate.

McConnell said he didn’t understand the move by Pelosi and said, while cracking a smile, that he didn’t agree with the idea that delaying the transmission might give her leverage in dictating the rules of the Senate trial.

1142d ago / 10:39 PM UTC

Widow, Republicans and Democrats blast Trump for crass Dingell 'hell' comment

Rep. Debbie Dingell called President Donald Trump's suggestion that her late lawmaker husband John Dingell was "looking up" from hell hurtful on Thursday as a bipartisan group of lawmakers demanded the president apologize for the macabre crack.

Dingell told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell she was stunned when she learned about Trump's comments about her husband during his Wednesday night rally in her home state of Michigan.

"I don't know why he decided to do what he did last night but to say it didn't hurt wouldn't be the truth," said the widow, whose 92-year-old husband died in February.

"It hurt. I loved my husband," the Democratic congresswoman said. "We had a love affair most never have, and it's been a hard holiday season, and those kinds of shots — people forget that members of Congress are human, and we go through real hard times."

Read the story.

1142d ago / 10:20 PM UTC

House managers likely won't be selected until the new year

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The House on Thursday took its last votes of 2019, so they will not be voting until next year on the selection of impeachment managers — a necessary step before articles of impeachment against President Trump can move to the Senate.

A senior Democratic leadership aide said it's possible managers, who act as prosecutors in the Senate trial, can be selected by unanimous consent during a pro forma session, but that’s highly unlikely to happen.

And a release from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said no votes are expected Friday and the next votes will be on Jan. 7.   

What this means practically is that articles of impeachment almost certainly won’t move to the Senate until January, which is when the trial was expected to start.

The senior aide adds that what Pelosi has been trying to do is give cover and time for Schumer and McConnell to negotiate trial parameters.

 

1142d ago / 10:17 PM UTC

 

1142d ago / 10:03 PM UTC

Trump, with Van Drew: Democrats 'forced' members to vote for impeachment

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, with Rep. Jeff Van Drew by his side at the White House, said Democrats had "put the arm on" lawmakers like the New Jersey congressman and "forced" them to vote for his impeachment.

"They happen to have a small majority, and they took that small majority and they forced people," the president told reporters at an Oval Office sitdown with the party-switching Democrat.

"Many of those people were like Jeff, where they didn't want to vote that way," he added. "But it doesn't feel — to me, it doesn't feel like impeachment."

 

"Now, I understand they're playing games, they don't want to put in their articles. They're ridiculous phony, fraudulent articles," Trump said, referring to Pelosi leaving open the possibility of not transmitting them to the Senate. "I think they're not allowed to do that." 

Van Drew, who was one of only two Democrats to vote against impeachment Wednesday, confirmed the widely reported news that he plans to leave the party and caucus with Republicans. “This is just a better fit for me,” he said.

Trump said he is turning his focus now to the Senate where he expects to have a more favorable trial, with White House counsel Pat Cipollone helming his defense team. "I think you'll see some very interesting things happen over the coming few days and weeks," he said.

1142d ago / 9:30 PM UTC

McConnell says Pelosi 'too afraid' to send impeachment articles to Senate

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Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress went toe-to-toe Thursday as a standoff unfolded over the next steps in President Donald Trump's impeachment.

Speaking to reporters, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who must send the two House-passed articles of impeachment to the Senate before a trial of the president can begin — said she had no intention of taking action until she heard from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., about his plans.

 

Pelosi, D-Calif., said she will move forward "when we see the process set forth in the Senate."

Earlier, McConnell said Pelosi "may be too afraid" to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

McConnell, speaking on the Senate floor, also lambasted the impeachment as "the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair ... in modern history." He said Pelosi "gave in to a temptation" and that the House impeached Trump "simply because they disagree with a presidential act."

For the full story click here 

1142d ago / 9:25 PM UTC

Rep. Debbie Dingell says Trump attacking her late husband 'hurt'

1142d ago / 9:23 PM UTC

'Feel proud. Keep going.': Hillary Clinton tweets on impeachment

1142d ago / 9:21 PM UTC

Impeachment of President Donald Trump: By the numbers

Since Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24 through Wednesday's vote to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, there have been:

  • 43 subpoenas issued by various committees;
  • 1 subpoena withdrawn;
  • 7 public hearings before the House Intelligence Committee;
  • 2 public hearings before the House Judiciary Committee;
  • 2 days of public debate on the impeachment articles before Judiciary, running about 16.5 hours;
  • 34.5 hours (approx.) of public testimony from 12 witnesses before Intelligence;
  • 16 hours (approx.) of public testimony from six witnesses before Judiciary;
  • 15 closed-door depositions and two closed-door interviews before House committees;
  • 122.5 hours (approx.) of testimony behind closed doors with 17 witnesses before House committees;
  • 2 House Democrats voted against both articles, Reps. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson of Minnesota.
  • 6 hours of debate on the House floor;
  • 2 articles of impeachment passed;
  • 1 House Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, voted for abuse but against obstruction;
  • 1 House Democrat, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, voted present on both articles.
1142d ago / 8:57 PM UTC

Putin defends Trump on 'far-fetched' impeachment, sounds like a Republican

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin called the U.S. impeachment process "far-fetched" on Thursday, making a seemingly obvious prediction that Donald Trump will be acquitted in the Senate.

Putin said Thursday at his annual news conference in Moscow that the move is a continuation of the Democrats' fight against Trump.

"The party that lost the (2016) election, the Democratic Party, is trying to achieve results by other means," Putin said.

He likened Trump's impeachment to the earlier U.S. probe into collusion with Russia, which Putin downplayed as being groundless.

 

Putin noted that the impeachment motion "is yet to pass the Senate where the Republicans have a majority." He added that “they will be unlikely to remove a representative of their own party from office on what seems to me an absolutely far-fetched reason.”

Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming only the third American chief executive to be formally charged under the Constitution’s ultimate remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors.

1143d ago / 12:24 PM UTC
1143d ago / 2:19 AM UTC

The Rules Committee has adjourned

The meeting has adjourned. The House is expected to reconvene at 9 a.m. 

1144d ago / 10:57 PM UTC

Congressman says he'll vote for one article of impeachment, not the other

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A freshman Democratic congressman from Maine says he'll vote for one of the articles of impeachment, but not for the other.

In a message to constituents posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Rep. Jared Golden says he agrees President Donald Trump abused his power to dig up dirt on a political rival, but he is not convinced — yet — by the charge that he obstructed Congress.

On the first charge, Golden wrote, “The House investigation clearly unearthed a pattern of evidence that demonstrates the corrupt intent on the part of the president, his personal lawyer, and members of his administration to leverage the powers of the presidency to damage a political opponent and strengthen the president’s reelection prospects."

"This action crossed a clear red line, and in my view, there is no doubt that this is an impeachable act. For this reason, I will vote for Article I of the House resolution to impeach President Trump for an abuse of power," he wrote.

As for the second article, Golden wrote, "While I do not dispute that the White House has been provocative in its defiance and sweeping in its claims of executive privilege, I also believe there are legitimate and unresolved constitutional questions about the limits of executive privilege, and that before pursuing impeachment for this charge, the House has an obligation to exhaust all other available options."

Golden, who comes from a Republican-leaning district that went to Trump by 10 points in 2016, said the House should have sought to enforce subpoenas against acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and others. 

"Before wielding our awesome power to impeach a sitting president, we first ought to exhaust available judicial remedies, or — at the very least — give the courts a chance," Golden wrote. So "while the president’s resistance toward our investigative efforts has been frustrating, it has not yet, in my view, reached the threshold of ‘high crime or misdemeanor’ that the Constitution demands."

 

1144d ago / 9:06 PM UTC

 

1144d ago / 9:01 PM UTC

  

1144d ago / 8:12 PM UTC

Trump says he takes no responsibility for impeachment

Shortly after the White House released a letter eviscerating Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump said he doesn’t take any responsibility for the actions that have led to the House’s planned vote Wednesday on his impeachment, maintaining that he did nothing wrong and that Democrats' actions will leave a “mark on this country.”

Trump complained that because of congressional immunity, House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff cannot be prosecuted for Trump’s allegations that he mischaracterized his phone call with the president of Ukraine.

Trump said he would let Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decide on which witnesses to call. Republicans have signaled they would like to see a speedy trial — potentially with no witnesses — while Trump has indicated he’d prefer to see a number of witnesses called, including the whistleblower. 

He warned that if he is impeached, it will mean future presidents who do “something that’s a little bit unpopular, a little bit strong” will risk facing impeachment as well. 

1144d ago / 7:43 PM UTC

Trump slams Pelosi and impeachment in letter to House speaker

 

1144d ago / 5:57 PM UTC

Collins condemns comparison of the president of Ukraine to a 'battered wife'

 

1144d ago / 5:54 PM UTC

McGovern is seeing red. A lot of it.

Image: House Rules Committee hearing on the impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump
House Rules Committee chairman Rep. Jim McGovern holds up a list of people and organizations who have not complied in the impeachment investigation during a House Rules Committee hearing on Dec. 17, 2019.Andrew Harnik / Pool via Reuters

 

1144d ago / 5:24 PM UTC

 

1144d ago / 5:14 PM UTC

Raskin: Trump's resistance of Congress is 'blatantly unconstitutional'

 

1144d ago / 5:13 PM UTC

Cole in opening statement: 'The majority has not proven its case'

  

1144d ago / 5:08 PM UTC

McGovern in opening statement: Trump 'jeopardized our national security'

 

1144d ago / 4:41 PM UTC

Giuliani: Ukraine ambassador 'needed to be removed for many reasons'

Rudy Giuliani, after telling publications that ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was an obstacle to getting the country to announce investigations desired by his client President Donald Trump, claimed Tuesday that she "needed to be removed for many reasons."

"Yovanovitch needed to be removed for many reasons most critical she was denying visas to Ukrainians who wanted to come to US and explain Dem corruption in Ukraine," Giuliani said on Twitter, echoing claims he made to NBC News Tuesday. "She was OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE and that’s not the only thing she was doing. She at minimum enabled Ukrainian collusion."

Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, was tweeting after two news outlets published interviews with him in which he revealed more details about his involvement in Yovanovitch's abrupt removal from her post, as well as what he says Trump knew.

"I believed that I needed Yovanovitch out of the way," Giuliani told The New Yorker in a report published Monday afternoon, adding, "She was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody."

In text messages to NBC News Tuesday morning, Giuliani repeated the assertion that the former ambassador was impeding his attempts to investigate his claims about the Bidens and Democrats.

For the full story click here

1144d ago / 4:20 PM UTC

The Rules Committee meeting has started

The House Rules Committee meeting to consider the articles of impeachment the House is slated to vote on tomorrow gaveled in at 11:16 a.m.

The start was slightly delayed because of House votes. 

1144d ago / 4:15 PM UTC

McConnell shreds House's 'slapdash' impeachment investigation, hits Schumer for wanting new witnesses

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday ripped House Democrats' "slapdash" impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump as the "most rushed," "least thorough" and "most unfair” in U.S. history.

In a forceful Senate floor speech, McConnell also slammed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for requesting that the Senate, during its trial, call new witnesses to testify about Trump’s Ukraine dealings.

"It is not the Senate's job to leap into the breach and search desperately for ways to get to guilty," McConnell, R-Ky., said. "The fact that my colleague is already desperate to sign up the Senate for new fact-finding … which House Democrats themselves were too impatient to see through, well, that suggests something to me. It suggests that even Democrats who do not like this president are beginning to realize how dramatically insufficient the House's rushed process has been."

 

He also shredded the entire impeachment process by House Democrats as a “slapdash work product” that was “dumped on us in the Senate” and that “has failed to come anywhere near the bar for impeaching a duly elected American president.”

McConnell repeatedly called it “the most rushed," "most unfair," and "least thorough presidential impeachment in our nation's history.”

“By any ordinary legal standard, what House Democrats have assembled appears to be woefully inadequate to prove what they want to allege,” he added.

For the full story, click here

1144d ago / 3:59 PM UTC

How Tuesday's meeting will differ from Clinton impeachment process

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The first two members that will testify Tuesday at the markup are House Judiciary Committee member Jamie Raskin, D-MD, and Ranking Member Doug Collins but then after this panel concludes, any member of the House is permitted to testify on the articles. 

During the Clinton impeachment, the articles did not come through the Rules Committee so this is a new process but will help spell out how Wednesday's floor debate will play out Wednesday.

1144d ago / 2:19 PM UTC

Nadler will miss Rules Committee meeting

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, D-NY, will not testify at the Rules Committee meeting due to a family emergency, a committee aide confirms to NBC News.

Judiciary member Rep Jamie Raskin, D-MD, will instead take Nadler’s place on the panel alongside Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-GA, during the impeachment markup today.

The aide is hopeful Nadler will return Wednesday for impeachment floor debate.

1144d ago / 10:34 AM UTC

House Committee to decide rules for impeachment floor debate

A busy day is in store for Tuesday as the House Democratic Caucus holds a press conference at 10 a.m. ET, before the House Rules Committee meets at 11 a.m. to markup the impeachment resolution and establish the rules governing the forthcoming floor debate.

The Rules Committee, which has nine Democrats and four Republicans, is expected to vote to leave the text of the articles of impeachment unchanged, while establishing how many hours House lawmakers will have to debate them.

1145d ago / 8:13 PM UTC

Schumer urges GOP to consider his proposed rules for an impeachment trial

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday that he is urging Senate Republicans to consider a proposal that he’s offered for a Senate impeachment trial early next year. 

The Democratic leader proposed in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday that the Senate subpoena four people who could serve as key witnesses in a trial: acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney; former national security adviser John Bolton; Robert Blair, senior adviser to Bolton; and Michael Duffey, associate director for national security at the Office of Management and Budget.

“The four witnesses we propose have direct knowledge of why the aid to Ukraine was delayed. We don't know what kind of evidence they will present. They might present exculpatory evidence that helps President Trump. It may be incriminating against the president, but they should be heard,” Schumer said at a press conference at the Capitol Monday. 

Schumer said that he told McConnell weeks ago that he was ready to discuss the parameters of a Senate trial. 

“Instead of talking to me, he spoke publicly about what a trial may look like, and said he was taking his cues from the White House,” Schumer said. 

“If Leader McConnell doesn't hold a full and fair trial, the American people will rightly ask, ‘What are you, Leader McConnell, and what is President Trump hiding?’”

Schumer added that he would like there to be live testimony during the trial. 

1145d ago / 1:47 PM UTC

Rep. Slotkin, in pro-Trump district, says she will vote to impeach

Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin announced on Monday morning that she will vote for both articles of impeachment. She is the latest vulnerable Democrat to support impeaching the president despite the potential political ramifications.

Slotkin, a former CIA officer and Department of Defense official, said the president "illegally solicited the help of foreigners to influence the American political process."

"There are some decisions in life that have to be made based on what you know in your bones is right. And this is one of those times," Slotkin wrote in an opinion piece in the Detroit Free Press. She is holding a town hall on Monday to hear from her constituents on her decision.

Slotkin is a freshman from a district President Donald Trump won by nearly seven points in 2016.

Image: Elissa Slotkin
US Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for International Security Affairs Elissa Slotkin testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 23, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images file

Slotkin said Trump's obstruction of the impeachment investigation was "unprecedented."

The House of Representatives are voting on two articles of impeachment this week: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Slotkin was one of seven freshman Democrats with military and national security backgrounds who wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post after the release of the whistleblower complaint that helped propel House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to support an impeachment inquiry.

"Over the past few months, I've been told more times that I can count that the vote I’ll be casting this week will mark the end of my short political career. That may be," Slotkin wrote. "But in the national security world that I come from, we are trained to make hard calls on things, even if they are unpopular, if we believe the security of the country is at stake."

1145d ago / 6:17 AM UTC

House Judiciary Committee releases 658-page impeachment report

The House Judiciary Committee released its full report on the impeachment of President Donald Trump after midnight Sunday, ahead of consideration by the full House as early as Wednesday. 

The report, a 658-page document, is an explanation in four parts of the committee's process and justification for recommending two articles of impeachment against Trump, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

The committee, chaired by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., devotes part one to detailing the process by which the House Intelligence Committee investigated the case against Trump. Part two is dedicated to examining the standards of impeachment laid out in the Constitution. 

Part three delves into the details of Democrats' case that Trump abused the power of his office to pressure a foreign government, Ukraine's, to investigate his domestic political rival and interfere in the 2020 presidential election. 

"President Trump has realized the Framers' worst nightmare. He has abused his power in soliciting and pressuring a vulnerable foreign nation to corrupt the next United States Presidential election by sabotaging a political opponent and endorsing a debunked conspiracy theory promoted by our adversary, Russia," the committee wrote.

Part four makes a case that the president obstructed Congress' ability to hold the executive branch accountable by flouting House investigators' requests for documents and testimony.  

"Other Presidents have recognized their obligation to provide information to Congress under these circumstances," the report states. "President Trump's stonewall, by contrast, was categorical, indiscriminate, and without precedent in American history."

The committee concludes that Trump "has fallen into a pattern of behavior: this is not the first time he has solicited foreign interference in an election, been exposed, and attempted to obstruct the resulting investigation. He will almost certainly continue on this course."

Read the full report

1147d ago / 10:50 PM UTC

Democrat opposed to impeachment likely to switch parties

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A Democratic congressman from a swing district in southern New Jersey — who has been outspoken in his opposition to President Donald Trump's impeachment — is likely to leave the party, sources told NBC News on Saturday.

Two Democratic leadership sources said they expect Rep. Jeff Van Drew to change his registration to Republican in the wake of his stance against the House Democratic-led efforts to impeach Trump.

Van Drew did not immediately return a request for comment from NBC News.

An internal poll conducted earlier this month for Van Drew showed he would be unlikely to win re-election to his seat in the 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses the southern tip of Jersey and includes Atlantic City.

Only 28 percent of Democratic respondents said Van Drew "deserves to be re-nominated," while 58 percent said that "another Democrat" should represent the party in the district's 2020 election, according to the poll obtained by NBC News.

Van Drew was among a handful of Democrats to vote against going forward with the impeachment inquiry back in October.

For the full story click here

1147d ago / 1:17 AM UTC

Trump complains 'It's not fair' he's being impeached

1148d ago / 12:10 AM UTC

Analysis: Trump faces fight or flight moment in Senate impeachment trial

WASHINGTON — The closer Republicans get to a Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, the more it looks like an improvised political explosive.

The White House and the Senate Republican Conference are united in their desire to dispose of it, but divided over how to do that in the way that inflicts the most damage on Democrats and the least harm on them — a show that gives Trump the chance to turn the tables on his accusers, or a quick dismissal that amounts to an exercise in self-preservation for him and GOP senators.

In other words, it's fight or flight time for Trump.

With his legacy, his re-election and his movement on the line — at a time when congressional Republicans are in lockstep defense of his actions — it would be quite a silent retreat for the chest-thumping, trash-talking Trump to slip away from the chance to have a made-for-TV trial befitting his reality-era presidency.

He sounds like he doesn't want to.

"I wouldn’t mind the long process, because I’d like to see the whistleblower, who’s a fraud, having the whistleblower called to testify in the Senate trial," he said Friday, referring to the anonymous intelligence community official who first accused him of wrongdoing in a complaint filed with the intelligence community inspector general.

He also noted that he believes that the House's impeachment process — the Judiciary Committee there approved two articles against him on Friday morning and the full House is expected to approve them next week — has benefited him.

For the full analysis, click here

1148d ago / 11:59 PM UTC

Article II: Inside Impeachment - The 7-Minute Vote

The House Judiciary Committee passed two articles of impeachment against President Trump Friday morning. The panel met for just seven minutes to cast their votes, after debating late into the evening on Thursday. 

Garrett Haake, MSNBC Washington Correspondent, explains how this committee vote propels the two articles of impeachment to a vote before the entire House of Representatives next week. 

Click here to listen to the episode

1148d ago / 11:35 PM UTC

One House Democrat goes on record opposing Trump impeachment

House Democrats hailing from conservative swing districts are all lining up to vote in favor of two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump next week — except for one congressman from New Jersey.

An NBC News survey of more than 40 vulnerable House Democrats found only Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who represents the southern tip of the state, plans to vote against the articles of impeachment.

"My district is red — a good chunk of it — and they're definitely anti-impeachment. And then I have the part that is purple, and they are more pro-impeachment. So whatever you do," he told NBC News, "you're going to aggravate people."

The outspoken Van Drew — who was profiled recently by NBCNews.com focusing on his opposition to impeachment — was only one of two Democrats to vote against the House resolution in October that formalized the rules and procedure for the impeachment inquiry.

The other was Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, who represents a rural district Trump won by 30 points in 2016. A spokesperson for Peterson told NBC News on Friday that he's undecided on how he'll vote on the articles on the House floor, likely on Wednesday.

For the full story click here

1148d ago / 9:25 PM UTC

How the historic vote in the House Judiciary Committee played out

 

1148d ago / 9:20 PM UTC

What happens next? An impeachment trial road map

What’s next?

Well, it’s not entirely clear, as it pertains to specifics, but there is a road map in place, as NBC News' Pete Williams, Alex Moe and Frank Thorp have pointed out.

Full House vote

First, the full House must vote on the impeachment resolution. This is likely to occur Wednesday.

Managers selected

Next, the House will appoint members to serve as "managers," or prosecutors, for the Senate trial. Pelosi has sole discretion to appoint House managers, and, as Jon Allen reported on Thursday, House members have already started campaigning and jockeying for what will be a career-defining appointment.

Senate trial

The Constitution lays out only three requirements for a Senate impeachment: The chief justice presides over the Senate trial of a president (but not the trial of any other official); each senator must be sworn (similar to the way jurors take an oath), and a two-thirds vote is required to convict on any article of impeachment. Once the preliminaries are out of the way, the trial takes place under procedures similar to courtrooms. The House managers make an opening statement, followed by a statement from lawyers for the president. The Senate has yet to decide whether, if Trump is impeached, witnesses will be allowed to testify to the full Senate. There's no requirement for the president to appear, and he cannot be compelled to testify. Like jurors in a trial, senators sit and listen. The rules say if they have questions, they can submit them in writing to be asked by the chief justice.

After both sides make their closing arguments, the Senate begins deliberations, traditionally in closed session. The Senate then votes separately on each article of impeachment, which must take place in open session.

Can the president pardon himself if he's impeached?

No. The same constitutional provision that gives the president the power "to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States" adds this phrase: "except in cases of impeachment."

What happens if the Senate convicts Trump?

He would be immediately removed from office, triggering the 25th Amendment. Vice President Mike Pence would become president.

1148d ago / 9:18 PM UTC

'Witch hunt,' 'sham,' 'hoax': Trump shreds impeachment process in first comments since vote

Trump, talking to reporters alongside his Paraguayan counterpart, shredded the impeachment process, calling it a "witch hunt," a "sham," and a "hoax."

"To be using this for a perfect phone call," he said, referring to the July 25 phone call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that was partly the basis for the Democrats' impeachment inquiry, is a "scam," he said.

He added that it was "a horrible thing to be using the tool of impeachment," which, Trump said, "is supposed to be used in an emergency."

Trump said Democrats were "trivializing impeachment."

"It's a very bad thing for our country," he added.

 

Trump predicted that the saga will eventually backfire on Democrats.

"Someday there will be a Democrat president and a Republican House, and I suspect they’re going to, they’ll remember it," Trump said. 

"The people are disgusted," he continued. "No one has ever seen anything like this."

Asked about whether he would prefer a brief Senate trial or one that is more drawn out, Trump responded, "I'll do long or short."

"I wouldn't mind a long process," he said. "I'd like to see the whistleblower."

1148d ago / 9:15 PM UTC

Rules committee to mark up impeachment Tuesday; full House vote likely Wednesday

The House Rules Committee on Friday said it would hold a meeting Tuesday to consider a resolution impeaching Trump.

Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern, D-Mass., said his panel will mark up the resolution Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. This meeting will dictate rules like length of floor debate for the full House vote that would follow.

The mark-up meeting sets up a likely Wednesday vote by the full House on impeachment.

1148d ago / 9:06 PM UTC

 

1149d ago / 3:20 PM UTC

Gohmert: This is 'a day that will live in infamy'

Echoing President Franklin Roosevelt, Gohmert said Thursday will be "a day that will live in infamy" in the Judiciary Committee, slamming Democrats over the articles of impeachment because he said they contain no allegation of a crime.

Roosevelt famously made that remark when discussing the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

1149d ago / 10:28 AM UTC

House Judiciary Committee to debate and vote on articles of impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee will continue debating the articles of impeachment from Thursday 9 a.m. ET, ahead of an vote to approve them. That would then tee up a vote by the full House next week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also holds her weekly press conference Thursday.

1149d ago / 2:55 AM UTC

Reschenthaler says it's Schiff who has committed an abuse of power

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., called the impeachment effort by Democrats a “political hit job,” but said that it wasn’t Trump who committed an abuse of power. 

Instead, he said it was committed by Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

“If the Democrats really wants to charge somebody with abuse of power, they should look no further than Chairman Schiff,” he said. “The chairman used his subpoena power to subpoena individual phone records, then went through those records, singled out Devin Nunes, in an attempt to smear a ranking member. That's the abuse of power.”

 

Reschenthaler said that he was previously a district court judge and said he would have thrown out the case being made by Democrats at the preliminary level. 

Instead, he said, “If this were a court of law, Chairman Schiff would be facing sanctions or defending his law license.”

1149d ago / 2:22 AM UTC

Raskin says he fears Trump's actions will be 'the new normal' if Congress doesn't hold him accountable

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said in his remarks that he was a constitutional law and election law professor for 29 years, “studying teaching and defending the constitution of the United States.” He said that he fears there will be consequences if Democrats don’t hold Trump accountable. 

“I confess that I am afraid if we allow presidents to invite foreign governments to participate overtly or covertly in our elections, then this becomes in America, the new normal,” he said. 

Raskin wondered whether any of his GOP colleagues could at least admit that what Trump is accused of doing is wrong.

“Even if our colleagues don't believe a shred of the overwhelming evidence that we've seen in this investigation, will one of them, will just one of them, say that it would be wrong for any president to commit the conduct this president is accused of? Will any of them say that the president of the United States should not drive foreign powers into our elections?"

1150d ago / 4:44 PM UTC

Graham says Russia, not Ukraine, interfered in 2016 election

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Wednesday that it was Russia — not Ukraine — that interfered in the 2016 election by hacking Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign emails.

He made the comments during a lengthy opening statement during his committee's hearing Wednesday on the Justice Department inspector general's report on the Russia probe.

"We know the Russians are messing in our election and it was the Russians, ladies and gentlemen, who stole the Democratic National Committee's emails, [Clinton campaign chairman John] Podesta’s emails and screwed around with Hillary Clinton," Graham said. "It wasn't the Ukrainians, it was the Russians and they're coming after us again."

President Donald Trump, along with other Republicans, have promoted the idea that the Ukrainian government meddled in the 2016 election, despite the assessment of the intelligence community that only Russia was responsible.

During the House Intelligence Committee's public hearings in the impeachment inquiry, GOP lawmakers raised claims of Ukrainian meddling to help explain Trump's skepticism and actions toward the country — prompting former White House official Fiona Hill, one of the foremost U.S. experts on Russian President Vladimir Putin, to testify that this theory amounted to Russian propaganda

In his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump asked his counterpart to investigate the debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine may have in its possession a DNC email server. That theory turns the focus away from Russia's culpability — which former special counsel Robert Mueller said was the case in his extensive report — and instead place some doubt as to whether Russia was the culprit.

"I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it," Trump said, according to a White House call summary. "I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike ... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it."

Multiple current and former Trump administration officials said that conspiracy has no basis in reality.

Trump's former homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, said in October the theory is "not only a conspiracy, it is completely debunked." In testimony as part of the House's impeachment inquiry, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent said "there is no factual basis" to the theory. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified that he was unaware of any credible evidence regarding that conspiracy.

1150d ago / 3:11 PM UTC

Democratic Rep. Cicilline previews Wednesday evening markup

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., told reporters Wednesday morning that he expects Democratic members to hammer their argument for impeaching President Donald Trump home during the Judiciary Committee markup of the articles. 

Cicilline pointed to Trump's "pattern of behavior," having "welcomed foreign interference in the 2016" and then "sought foreign interference in the 2020 election...to cheat and help him win." 

"It's a crime in progress," Cicilline said. 

"And so I say to my Republican colleagues, if you care about preserving our democracy we have to hold this president accountable," he added.

1150d ago / 10:35 AM UTC

House Judiciary Committee to hold impeachment articles markup session Wednesday

The House Judiciary Committee will on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET hold a public markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Committee members will deliver opening statements later this evening and lawmakers will then discuss the articles, debate amendments and ultimately vote beginning at 9 a.m. ET Thursday morning.

1150d ago / 4:12 AM UTC

Trump rails against 'impeachment lite'

At a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, President Trump railed against the articles of impeachment, saying it was the lightest impeachment in the country’s history.

 

1150d ago / 1:15 AM UTC

Article II: Inside Impeachment - The Articles

The House Judiciary Committee officially charged President Donald Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors on Tuesday. Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler announced two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

NBC News Political Reporter Jon Allen dissects the substance and strategy behind each charge.

Listen to the episode here

1151d ago / 12:49 AM UTC

Trump knocks ‘very weak’ articles of impeachment

 

1151d ago / 9:19 PM UTC

Schumer says GOP 'conspiracy conjuring needs to stop'

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, appeared in a policy lunch stakeout and said that the two articles of impeachment against President Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — demand that all senators “put country over party and examine the evidence uncovered by the House without prejudice, without partisanship.”

Schumer also criticized Republican lawmakers who have pushed the debunked theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

“The conspiracy conjuring needs to stop,” Schumer said.

He also said that for the Democrats in the Senate running for president that their presence for a potential impeachment trial “has to come first,” and that “scheduling concerns are secondary to doing this the right way.”

1151d ago / 8:52 PM UTC

Pence says Trump is 'standing strong'

Vice President Pence stopped by a diner in Pennsylvania and was asked by a guest how the president was "holding up." 

"He's just standing strong," Pence said. "Look at it today, they're going to announce we got a trade deal done, going to the floor of the Congress — USMCA. Before the end of the day here, we got a defense bill done with a pay raise for our troops." 

"He's a believer, he's a believer," said Pence, who added: "He really is the real deal." 

He also ordered a Reuben sandwich. 

 

1151d ago / 8:24 PM UTC

Grassley says Senate will do its duty 'with fairness and clear eyes'

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, said on Tuesday that the "Democrats’ desire to overturn the 2016 election by impeaching President Trump has been abundantly clear since before he took the oath of office. But try as they might, they’ve struggled to arrive at a charge that can stand up to scrutiny.”

“If the House decides to move forward, the Senate will do its constitutional duty with fairness and clear eyes, not blind partisanship,” Grassley's statement said. 

1151d ago / 8:04 PM UTC

McConnell talks timeline

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, opened up the GOP leadership presser saying that the Senate will not be able to process the USMCA this year, saying it will have to wait until after the impeachment trial.

Asked when the Senate might reconvene in the New Year, McConnell didn't answer directly. He joked that it would be shortly after the college football bowl games end. 

The National Championship game is Jan. 13. 

1151d ago / 5:56 PM UTC

Bill Clinton says Americans should go about their lives

Former President Bill Clinton, no stranger to impeachment, said: "Congress is doing what they believe is right." 

"The American people will see it is true and what should be done with it, and the rest of us should go about our lives. They should do their job and I'll do mine." 

1151d ago / 5:28 PM UTC

It's 'pretty clear the president wants a trial': White House spokesman

Speaking to reporters on the White House driveway, Hogan Gidley said it's "pretty clear the president wants a trial" in the Senate and that Trump would want it to take place "sooner rather than later."

He noted the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's teams are in "constant contact," but that he's not at liberty to disclose details of the conversations. 

Asked if they’re concerned about Republicans turning against the president, Gidley said “not at this point.”

1151d ago / 4:12 PM UTC

Read the full text of the articles of impeachment

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., on Tuesday announced the introduction of two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

Read the full text of the articles here:

 

1151d ago / 3:50 PM UTC

'Surreal': Michelle Obama on impeachment hearings

 

1151d ago / 3:42 PM UTC

Mulvaney: 'Politics can and should influence foreign policy'

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WASHINGTON — Acting White House chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday that the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump "should surprise nobody."

"That's what this was going to be from the very beginning anyway," he said at a Wall Street Journal event minutes after House Democrats publicly announced the two articles. "Keep in mind, I think it's 16 members of the House Democrat Judiciary panel had already voted in favor of impeachment before this process started."

He added that "politics can and should influence foreign policy, and hopefully always will."

When asked if he would testify in a Senate trial, Mulvaney said part of him "really wants to."

 

"We'll do whatever the president wants us to do is what it comes down to, so if the Senate decides to take live witnesses and the president directs us to do it, we will. If he directs us not to, we won't," he said.  

He would not respond directly to questions about U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland's claim in November testimony that Mulvaney knew of alleged wrongdoing by the president.

"I'm not going to testify here today, but I will remind everybody of what Sondland said, which is that he very rarely talked to me and he couldn't get me on the phone," Mulvaney said.

1151d ago / 3:17 PM UTC

White House calls it a 'sham impeachment'

From White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham: 

"Today, in a baseless and partisan attempt to undermine a sitting President, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats announced the pre-determined outcome of their sham impeachment — something they have been seeking since before President Trump was inaugurated.

“House Democrats have long wanted to overturn the votes of 63 million Americans.  They have determined that they must impeach President Trump because they cannot legitimately defeat him at the ballot box. The Democrats’ use of a phone call with the president of Ukraine – with a transcript the President himself released — served as their excuse for this partisan, gratuitous, and pathetic attempt to overthrow the Trump Administration and the results of the 2016 election.

“The announcement of two baseless articles of impeachment does not hurt the President, it hurts the American people, who expect their elected officials to work on their behalf to strengthen our Nation. The President will address these false charges in the Senate and expects to be fully exonerated, because he did nothing wrong.

“Ultimately, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats will have to answer to their constituents for manufacturing an impeachment inquiry and forcing unfounded accusations down the throats of the American people. Today, and every day, the President will continue to work on behalf of this country and will not be deterred by the rank partisan political acts of the Democrat Party."

1151d ago / 3:09 PM UTC

'Ridiculous': Trump reacts to articles of impeachment

Almost an hour after two articles of impeachment were announced, Trump first tweeted his common refrain: "WITCH HUNT!" 

Then he followed up by calling the idea he pressured Ukraine "ridiculous." 

Within minutes, he tweeted two more times, once with an attack on House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, and another in which he claimed the “us” he mentioned during the July phone call with Zelenskiy where he asked for a favor "is a reference to USA, not me!"

1151d ago / 2:48 PM UTC

How a Senate trial will differ from the House impeachment inquiry

 

1151d ago / 2:44 PM UTC

Trump campaign hits Pelosi, calls announcement 'political theater'

From Trump's 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale:

“For months, Nancy Pelosi said she wouldn’t move forward on impeachment because it was too divisive and it needed bipartisan support. Well, it is divisive and only the Democrats are pushing it, but she’s doing it anyway. Americans don’t agree with this rank partisanship, but Democrats are putting on this political theater because they don’t have a viable candidate for 2020 and they know it.”

1151d ago / 2:36 PM UTC

Schiff: ‘Actions of Trump gave Congress no alternative’

 

1151d ago / 2:34 PM UTC

Nadler: 'No one is above the law'

 

1151d ago / 2:29 PM UTC

'A disgusting partisan low': Trump's 2020 campaign spokeswoman

 

1151d ago / 2:19 PM UTC

'High crimes and misdemeanors'

Starting at 9:09 a.m. Chairman Nadler, describing them as "high crimes and misdemeanors," announced that the House Judiciary Committee will be introducing two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

Read the full story here

1151d ago / 1:43 PM UTC

The view from the White House

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When asked how the White House plans to respond to today’s 9 a.m. press conference when House Democrats unveil articles of impeachment against President Trump, a senior administration official tells NBC News:

“White House officials will, of course, be monitoring the announcement scheduled for 9 a.m., and decide next steps. It’s safe to assume the president will give his own full-throated reaction at his rally tonight.”

The president has a rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, tonight. He departs the White House at 5 p.m. ET — but keep in mind the weather looks bleak in Washington, so he may not depart from the South Lawn (and thus won’t have the opportunity to answer questions.) 

The president is also meeting with the Russian foreign minister today before he departs, but that is closed to the press. 

Trump is already up and tweeting: “To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country's history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness! #2020Election”

White House officials also tell NBC News they are largely focused on preparing for a likely Senate trial, where they are already planning more participation and representation.

A second official says the White House — like the rest of the world — still doesn’t know if House Democrats will include information related to the Mueller investigation. They will be watching closely for that.

This second official acknowledges the “irony” that House Democrats will introduce articles of impeachment on the same day they — potentially — plan to hand the president a huge legislative victory by announcing a deal on USMCA.

This official said they are “pretty optimistic” USMCA will be announced this afternoon but also acknowledge it is not finalized until it is finalized.

Sources here indicate they will let House Speaker Nancy Pelosi take the lead in announcing any deal on USMCA.

1151d ago / 1:29 PM UTC

Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress

, , and

Five people familiar with the discussions tell NBC News tonight that House Democrats have settled on bringing two articles of impeachment against President Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The intent to bring those two articles, they caution, is not final until an official announcement is made. 

These sources spoke after Democratic members of House judiciary met this evening. Speaker Pelosi also met this evening with Rep. Engel, per Alex Moe's note moments ago.

Two sources familiar tell NBC News that judiciary Democrats will meet again tomorrow at 8 a.m. to continue discussions and will address the media at 9 a.m.

Read the full article here

1151d ago / 1:27 PM UTC

Analysis: The GOP's bottom-line impeachment defense: Get over it

WASHINGTON — The impeachment of President Donald Trump boiled down to a reality test Monday as the Judiciary Committee moved a step closer to drafting articles formally charging the president.

Trump's fellow Republicans mounted a vigorous defense that held — all at once — he didn't do it, nothing he did was wrong and that they will impeach his rival for doing the same thing (even if it's not really the same thing) if the president eventually loses to that rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

"We already we got the forms — all we have to do is eliminate Donald Trump’s name and put Joe Biden’s name," Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said during a raucous and unusual Judiciary hearing in which lawyers for that panel and the House Intelligence Committee testified as witnesses.

Democrats argued Trump presents a clear threat to American democracy because he is directing an ongoing campaign to force a foreign nation to help him destroy his leading rival in the upcoming 2020 elections.

The risk is so imminent, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said, that Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani's recent trip to Ukraine is part of a "pattern of conduct" that "represents a continuing risk to the country."

And yet, in a stirring moment toward the end of the hearing, it was Republican staff lawyer Steve Castor — a man who held firm for nine-plus hours as the president's champion — who quietly acknowledged that, at best, Trump had been pursuing a "good faith" belief in what amounts to a Russian disinformation campaign to frame Ukraine for interfering in the 2016 election.

Ultimately, most Republicans said they saw no evil and heard no evil — except when it came to Biden, who has been the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination since announcing his bid in April and who by dint of his status as a private citizen is not susceptible to impeachment.

For the full analysis click here

1151d ago / 1:25 PM UTC

Articles of impeachment to be announced Tuesday morning

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A senior Democratic aide confirms to NBC News that Democrats will announce articles of impeachment Tuesday morning.

House Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel left a meeting earlier in Speaker Pelosi’s office and said there will be an announcement Tuesday morning on impeachment with the relevant committee chairs.

Asked if this announcement would be about articles of impeachment, Engel said, “Yeah, everything.”

Read the article here

1151d ago / 1:22 PM UTC

In closing statements in Judiciary hearing, Nadler says 'facts are clear,' Collins laments 'impeachment scam'

After a more than 9-hour hearing, which included fiery exchanges between witnesses and members, bickering between both sides over procedure and bathroom breaks, Democrats and Republicans made their closing arguments in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. 

Chairman Nadler argued that Trump violated his oath of office when he pressured Ukraine to announce an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden and Democrats. Nadler, D-N.Y., argued Trump clearly put “his own interest before the country” and jeopardized national security and the integrity of American elections in the process by hinging a White House meeting and nearly $400 million in critical military aid on a vulnerable ally to open the investigations.

 

“The facts are clear, the danger to our democracy is clear and our duty is clear,” Nadler said. “President Trump violated his oath to the American people.”

Nadler also excoriated Republicans for their conduct during the hearing.

"I am struck by the fact that my Republican colleagues have offered no serious scrutiny of the evidence at hand,” he said. “They have talked about everything else, but they have offered not one substantive word in the president's defense."

Ranking member Collins summed up the Republican case against impeachment, shifting away from the president’s own conduct and arguing against the process and questioning their motives. He called it an “impeachment scam” and said that Democrats have eroded the institutional integrity of Congress by going forward with the inquiry.

“We have become a rubber stamp,” he said. 

 

He claims that the Democrats hamstrung the process and is conducting a “smear job” against the president, which is a long-standing vendetta stemming from Democrats losing the 2016 election. Collins also said Democrats are using the "same playbook" from the Russia investigation. 

"We're seeing the problems with the Russia investigation play out again in front of our eyes,” he said. 

1152d ago / 6:42 PM UTC

Castor falsely claims that administration has cooperated with oversight investigations

As part of an exchange with Berke, Castor was asked if it was true that he had previously said that the Trump administration has cooperated and facilitated oversight investigations by Congress.

“Absolutely,” he said. “The Trump administration has participated in oversight during the entire Congress until it got to the impeachment inquiry.” 

Before the impeachment inquiry, however, the administration has blocked numerous information requests by Democrats in Congress and has ordered current and former officials to defy congressional subpoenas that requested testimony or certain records. 

Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, for example, defied congressional subpoenas that related to the development of the citizenship question for the 2020 Census. Earlier, this year, the White House blocked Trump adviser Stephen Miller from testifying before a House committee on the administration’s immigration policies. 

The administration has blocked the House from obtaining his tax returns and now the case involving the president’s financial records from his accounting firm, sought by several House committees, has reached the Supreme Court. 

1152d ago / 6:13 PM UTC

Republicans says Democrats ‘wrong’ to have witnesses ask questions

As Democratic counsel Barry Berke questioned Castor about whether Trump viewed Biden as his top political opponent in 2020, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, expressed exasperation that Democrats were allowing Berke to ask questions after he had delivered an opening statement earlier in the hearing. 

“We’re going to ignore the rules and allow witnesses to ask the questions? Then how many other rules are you just gonna disregard?” Gohmert said. 

Gohmert said it’s “not appropriate” for Berke to question Castor after Berke himself appeared as a witness.

“It’s just wrong,” Gohmert said. “There is no rule nor precedent for anybody to be a witness and then getting to come up and question” other witnesses.

Gohmert and other GOP lawmakers attempted to raise a point of order, suggesting that Democrats were violating House rules. 

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said, “It’s unprecedented for a person to come” and sit as a witness “and then return to question.” 

Nadler, however, said that he had designated Berke to question the staff counsels of the House Intelligence Committee, which he said was in accordance with the rules of the House, specifically rule 660.

1152d ago / 3:47 PM UTC

Kellyanne Conway elaborates on why Trump is skipping the impeachment hearings

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, said Monday that the decision by him and the White House not to participate in the House impeachment hearings has nothing to do with cooperating with Congress.

NBC News’ Kristin Welker asked Conway if there’s any chance the White House will cooperate or if it plans to stick to its position of rejecting Democrats' invitation to get involved with the process. 

“It's not about cooperation. It's about colluding with an illegitimate process,” Conway said at a White House stakeout with reporters.

A reporter then pointed out that the White House has been defending Trump on social media and asked Conway why officials won’t do that in the hearing room. 

“Why would we legitimize this process that the American people can't even follow, aren’t digesting? The polls are going in the opposite way, [and] it’s forced the Democrats to [hold] focus groups [on] terms and phrases.”

Conway added, “Does anybody here think it's a bad idea to investigate Burisma? Really?”

1154d ago / 2:40 AM UTC

Article II: Inside Impeachment — The Drafting Table

The House Judiciary Committee is drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. The Constitution limits grounds of impeachment to treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Which ones will the Democrats choose to move forward with, and why? 

Heidi Przybyla, NBC News Correspondent covering politics and government, explores the potential scope of the charges as Democrats prepare to bring them to the full House for a vote.

Click here to listen

1154d ago / 2:27 AM UTC

Impeachment Inquiry Report transmitted to Judiciary Committee

On Friday evening, the Chairs of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, and Foreign Affairs Committees transmitted the “Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report” to the House Judiciary Committee.

In addition to the final report and its appendices — initially released publicly in draft form on Tuesday and now in final form with authorized technical and conforming changes — the transmittal includes the Minority’s Views (the same document that the Minority released publicly on Monday, which they submitted again last night) as well as additional records and materials relating to the inquiry.

These records include all transcripts of interviews, hearings, and depositions undertaken during the inquiry, as well as additional evidence cited in the report.

1155d ago / 10:58 PM UTC

Top Judiciary Republican urges chairman to call Adam Schiff and Hunter Biden as witnesses

The ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee on Friday asked chairman Jerrold Nadler to call additional witnesses in the impeachment inquiry — and Rep. Adam Schiff is at the top of the list. 

Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee that led the impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine, is "the author of the Intelligence Committee report and the chief prosecutor for the House," Rep. Doug Collins noted in his Friday letter to Nadler. "At a minimum, he should testify about his report, just as Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Independent Counsel Ken Starr testified to this Committee about their reports."

He also said Nadler should call the whistleblower who first alerted Congress to Trump's July 25 call with his Ukrainian counterpart because the "president should be afforded the opportunity to confront his accusers."

In closed door depositions, Republicans sought to learn the identity of the whistleblower from other witnesses, but Collins said that's not his goal.  "This testimony can be conducted in a way that does not reveal the identity of the whistleblower," he maintained. 

Collins also called for hearing from other witnesses who'd been demanded by the ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes. They include Hunter Biden, the son of presidential candidate Joe Biden, and Alexandra Chalupa, a former Democratic National Committee staffer who's said she reached out to officials in Ukraine to find out information about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's ties to Russia. 

Calling those witnesses would "provide context and transparency about the underlying facts at issue in this 'impeachment inquiry,'" he wrote in the letter.  

There was no immediate response from Nadler, but Schiff turned down Nunes's request for many of the same witnesses last month, writing the impeachment inquiry “will not serve as vehicles for any Member to carry out the same sham investigations into the Bidens or debunked conspiracies about 2016 U.S. election interference that President Trump pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit.”

1155d ago / 10:16 PM UTC

White House rejects House Judiciary's invitation to participate in impeachment hearings

The White House on Friday rejected an invitation to take part in impeachment hearings before the House Judiciary Committee.

In a brief letter to Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., White House counsel Pat Cipollone sharply attacked the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump as "completely baseless" and said House Democrats had "violated basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness."

Cipollone did not explicitly answer whether the White House would take part in the Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Monday, but a senior administration official told NBC News "the letter means that the White House will not participate in the House proceeding."

"House Democrats have wasted enough of America's time with this charade. You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings," Cipollone wrote. "Adopting articles of impeachment would be a reckless abuse of power by House Democrats, and would constitute the most unjust, highly partisan, and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment in our Nation's history. Whatever course you choose, as the President has recently stated: "if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business."

Click here for the full story

1155d ago / 8:35 PM UTC

Former Ukrainian diplomat agrees to Senate interview on alleged 2016 election meddling

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Andriy Telizhenko, the former Ukrainian diplomat who alleges Ukraine meddled in the 2016 presidential election, tells NBC News he’s already been contacted by Senate staff regarding a request to be interviewed as part of the probe by Chairmen Graham, Johnson, and Grassley.

Telizhenko says he plans to “fully cooperate with the U.S. government on any investigations” but that no date for an interview has been set.

Telizhenko is one of the Ukrainians who is traveling with Rudy Giuliani this week as he conducted interviews first in Budapest and now in Kyiv about the Bidens, former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and others. Telizhenko formerly worked for former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, but he was working at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in 2016 when he says that he was directed by his superiors to help former DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa dig up dirt about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Chalupa didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The senators say they’re requesting transcribed staff interviews as well as documents from Chalupa and Telizhenko.

The push from Graham, Grassley, and Johnson come despite the fact that the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to vice chai