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

Trump's trial: Lawmakers return to D.C., and here's where things stand

Lawmakers return to Washington on Monday after the holiday break — and will walk right into the face-off over President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

The House voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Dec. 18, making him just the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has not yet named the case managers — essentially the members of Congress who act as prosecutors during a trial in the Senate — nor has she sent the two articles of impeachment to the Senate. The president's trial cannot get underway until she does.

Pelosi said she first wants assurances of a fair trial, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is demanding that witnesses be allowed to testify. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he wants the issue of witnesses to be decided not now but later in the trial process, as it was during Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999.

Here's where things stand and how they're likely to proceed.

OPINION: Rep. Swalwell on America's first presidential bribery scandal

As we debated the impeachment of President Donald Trump, my House Democratic colleagues and I often underscored the unprecedented nature of the president's actions toward Ukraine. But, while it is true that no other American president has attempted to bribe another world leader for help in a domestic political fight, the circumstances are not wholly without precedent in our nation's history.

It's just that, at that particular moment in history, we were the fledgling democracy desperately in need of assistance from a world power, and it was another nation's politician who attempted to secure a bribe from us. Astute students of history will remember it was known as the XYZ Affair, and that it was America’s first international scandal.

Read more here.

Dems say no rush to turn over articles of impeachment, but wait won't be 'indefinite'

As Congress prepares to return amid a weeks-long impasse over the next steps in President Donald Trump's impeachment, Democrats said Sunday there is no rush to turn over the two House-passed articles of impeachment to the Senate but that the holdout would not be "indefinite."

"I don't think it's going to be indefinite, no," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told CNN's "State of the Union." "I don't think that's at all the desire, motivation here. The desire is to get a commitment from the Senate that they're going to have a fair trial, fair to the president, yes, but fair to the American people."

Read more here.

Warren questions Iran attack timing with impeachment trial looming

WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sunday raised the prospect that President Trump's decision to authorize last week's attack on a top Iranian general may have been linked to the pending impeachment trial in the Senate.

"Next week, Donald Trump faces the start, potentially, of an impeachment trial," the Democratic presidential candidate said in an interview with "Meet the Press."

"People are starting to ask, why now did he do this? Why not delay? And why this one is so dangerous is that he is truly taking us right to the edge of war. And that is something that puts us at risk, it puts the Middle East at risk, it puts the entire world at risk."

Read more here.

In Friday's edition of Article II, Steve Kornacki talks to MSNBC contributor Chuck Rosenberg about the oath of the highest office — the presidency.

The two discuss: 

  • What the founders intended in their wording of the presidential oath of office.
  • The limits of presidential power.
  • What happens to public trust when a president’s commitment to the oath is called into question.

Download the podcast.

'Broad-scale defiance': Appeals court wrestles with whether to compel ex-White House counsel McGahn's testimony

Federal appellate judges are wrestling with whether courts should be refereeing a dispute between the House of Representatives and the Trump administration over the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn, even in the face of what one judge called the White House's “broad-scale defiance of congressional investigation.”

A panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard arguments Friday over the House Judiciary Committee's effort to compel McGahn's testimony. The administration appealed after a trial judge rejected its broad claim that close advisers to President Donald Trump have complete immunity from congressional subpoenas for their testimony.

Judge Thomas Griffith, an appointee of President George W. Bush, pressed tough questions on both sides Friday, describing Trump's directive not to cooperate with congressional investigations as “broad-scale defiance” that is possibly unprecedented in U.S. history. Even so, Griffith wondered whether courts should get in the middle of a political dispute between the other two branches of government, especially when Congress has other powers available, including cutting off appropriations, stopping the confirmation of judges, even impeachment. “That's what the separation of powers means,” he said.

Read the story.

McConnell, Schumer start the year deadlocked over Senate impeachment trial

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate made clear Friday that they remain deadlocked over the parameters of a Senate trial weighing whether President Donald Trump, impeached by the House in December, should be removed from office.

Opening the 2020 congressional session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor that the upper chamber could not hold a trial without the two articles of impeachment adopted by the House that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has not yet transmitted to the Senate.

"We can't hold the trial without the articles. The Senate’s old rules don’t provide for that. So, for now, we're content to continue the ordinary business of the Senate while House Democrats continue to flounder,” McConnell said.

Speaking on the floor after McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that his GOP counterpart had engaged in a lot of “finger-pointing” and “name-calling” without weighing on the question he said was holding up the Senate trial: “Whether there will be witnesses and documents.”

“He has no good argument against having witnesses and documents, so he resorts to these subterfuges,” Schumer said. “Instead of trying to find the truth, he is still using the same feeble talking points that he was using last December.”

Read the full story.