Trump impeachment: Analysis and news on the House charges and Senate acquittal of the president

The Senate trial on the two articles of impeachment against Trump, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, ended with acquittal on both charges.
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The fast-moving impeachment of President Donald Trump, stemming from his dealings with Ukraine, moved to the Senate for trial in January after the House voted a month earlier to adopt two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The Senate voted in early February to acquit the president on both charges.

Trump's impeachment followed weeks of testimony related to his efforts to press Ukraine for investigations into Democratic rivals and hours of fiery debate over the process.

Trump is only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. Read all of the breaking news and analysis on impeachment from NBC News' political reporters, as well as our teams on Capitol Hill and at the White House.

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Live Blog

'Devastating blow': Schumer says newly revealed emails show why Senate GOP needs to allow impeachment witnesses

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday that documents exposed in a newly released report justify the argument by Democrats to hold a full-fledged trial in the Senate to weigh whether President Donald Trump should be removed from office.

In a statement Thursday, Schumer pointed to a new report from the website Just Security that details documents relating to the president’s campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens as his administration froze nearly $400 in military aid to Ukraine.

The documents, according to the report, reveal that on August 30, after meeting with Trump, Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, told Elaine McCusker, the acting Pentagon comptroller, in an email that there was "Clear direction from [Trump] to hold" the aid and he let her know that he’d soon be sending new paperwork extending the hold.

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ANALYSIS: Democrats' 2020 split risks handing Trump a big advantage

Democrats have been obsessed with the year 2020 — for its promise of redemption, revenge and a return of power — ever since Donald Trump won the presidency in November 2016.

Now the election year has arrived. But after a midterm rebuke of Trump at the polls, the House's impeachment of him last month and a year of campaigning by the contenders for the party's nod to take him on, his opponents find themselves no closer to their goal of ousting him than they were when he was inaugurated a little less than three years ago.

And they're spotting him a big messaging advantage, because to the extent he can stay on topic, he can make the case for himself and against them while they are still trying to figure out what they're going to sell to voters.

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Pompeo postpones meeting with Ukrainian president

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is delaying a trip to Ukraine to meet with its president, the State Department announced Wednesday.

Pompeo’s trip to that country and other former Soviet republics is being postponed so he can “continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East,” State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

Pompeo had been scheduled to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his foreign and defense ministers in Kyiv on Friday, where he had planned to reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

"Secretary Pompeo’s trip will be rescheduled in the near future and he looks forward to the visit at that time," Ortagus said.

The top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, was told to leave his post by Jan. 1, a week before his term in the post was set to expire. A congressional aide told NBC News last month that the timing of Taylor's departure was not coincidental. President Donald Trump criticized the diplomat as a "Never Trumper" after he testified in the House impeachment inquiry.  

“Pompeo is not going to want to be in a photo with Taylor,” the aide said.

It's not the first time the administration has put off a planned meeting with Zelenskiy, whose country is warring with Russian-backed separatists. Trump was slated to meet with him earlier this year in Poland, but backed out of the trip, citing the impending arrival of Hurricane Dorian.  

They later met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, as Trump released a call summary of their July 25 phone conversation in which he asked Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden and his son. 

Trump-Ukraine controversy raises new fears over Russian aggression

Klobuchar, Booker call for witnesses in impeachment trial

They're both Democratic senators running for president, and both want to hear witnesses when they're jurors at President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

"We're simply asking for four witnesses," Sen. Amy Klobuchar said at a town hall in Keene, New Hampshire on Tuesday. 

The Minnesota senator said she'd just spoken to some of her colleagues about the impending trial on the phone.  

"We are dismayed," Klobuchar said. "I just got the news that there still has not been any agreement on witnesses."

Klobuchar noted that Richard Nixon, who resigned the presidency before he could be impeached, had allowed his top people to testify before Congress. 

"And that's what we're asking for, which is people that have unique knowledge that the president claims he should be exonerated, then he should let them speak," Klobuchar said. Among the witnesses she said she wants to hear from is Trump's "acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who is the one that ordered that the aid be withheld from Ukraine."

Sen. Cory Booker, attending a New Year's Eve house party in Johnston, Iowa, issued a similar call.   

"Let them testify under oath of what they saw and what they heard. That's going to shed light," Booker said. 

The New Jersey senator also praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to hold back the articles of impeachment from the Senate as she tries to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., into agreeing to have witnesses testify, saying she'd done a "phenomenal job."

"I actually think  she's doing the right thing trying to do everything she can, you know, in her power to make sure there is going to be a trial" that's fair, he said. 

Trump offered a different take on Pelosi, D-Calif., before a New Year's Eve celebration at his Florida resort. 

"Nancy Pelosi should be ashamed of herself. She’s a highly overrated person. I know her well; she’s highly overrated," he said.

Giuliani says he'd testify at Trump's Senate trial, adds, 'I'd love to try the case'

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he'd be willing to testify at his client's Senate trial, but he would "love" to represent Trump in the proceedings.

"I would testify, I would do demonstrations, I'd give lectures, I'd give summations, or I'd do what I do best, I'd try the case. I'd love to try the case," Giuliani told reporters as he made his way into a New Year's Eve celebration at the president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Tuesday night.

Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, suggested that he'd lead the president's defense with a prosecution.

"I don't know if anybody would have the courage to give me the case, but if you give me the case, I will prosecute it as a racketeering case, which I kind of invented anyway," he said, referring to his pioneering use of racketeering laws to take down New York mob leadership in the 1980s.

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