EVENT ENDED

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

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE

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

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

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

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

Trump impeachment highlights

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

Live Blog

Senate Democrats held NYE impeachment call

The entire Senate Democratic Caucus, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, held a conference call on Dec. 31 where they discussed next steps on impeachment, five Senate dem sources tell NBC News. 

Four sources told NBC News that the call happened, and the fifth, a Dem aide familiar with the call, also confirmed the call and gave us this readout:

Schumer convened a conference call with Democratic Senators on New Year’s Eve to discuss impeachment.

The purpose of the call was for Schumer to give everyone an update on the state of play.

Schumer emphasized how the new revelations that came out during the holidays about emails related to the hold on Ukraine military aid further bolstered their case for witnesses and documents.

Schumer encouraged the caucus to continue to demand the requested witnesses and documents and use the new revelations to make the case.

Schumer told his caucus that he would be coming to Washington, D.C. on Friday to deliver a rebuttal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s expected floor speech on impeachment and continue to press for a fair trial.

A number of Senators also spoke about their support for the request for witnesses and documents.

Feinstein seeks fellow senators' support on request for witnesses and docs in impeachment trial

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called on her Senate colleagues to support Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's request for witnesses and documents in President Donald Trump's upcoming Senate impeachment trial.

In a letter to her fellow senators on Thursday, Feinstein, the Judiciary Committee's ranking member, emphasized that the White House had prevented several key witnesses from testifying in the House impeachment inquiry who would provide the Senate with firsthand information on the delay in military aid to Ukraine. Those witnesses include acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton, senior budget official Michael Duffey and White House aide Robert Blair.

Feinstein also noted that the administration refused to release relevant emails about Trump's request that Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelenskiy announce political investigations into the Bidens and other Democrats and about the withholding of the military aid and a White House meeting for Zelenskiy.

During President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial, the Senate heard "exhaustive testimony from key witnesses and relevant documents from the start of the trial," Feinstein wrote, contrasting that situation with the current scenario in which lawmakers still haven't heard from key witnesses or seen critical documents.

It would take only a simple Senate majority to agree to Schumer's requests for the witnesses and documents, Feinstein noted, adding, "This should be easy to achieve as all senators should want this information from the outset to ensure a full and fair trial."

Feinstein's letter comes as Schumer, D-N.Y., said newly revealed unredacted emails published in a report by the national security website Just Security underscored the need to subpoena the witnesses and documents.

'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.

Read more here.

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.

Read the full story.

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.