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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

1065d ago / 10:30 PM UTC

Romney says he wants to hear from John Bolton

Sen. Mitt Romney told reporters that he wants to hear what John Bolton knows in a forthcoming Senate impeachment trial.

"Sure, I'd love to hear what he has to say," Romney said in response to a question about if John Bolton should testify in the Senate. 

"He has first-hand information and assuming that articles of impeachment do reach the Senate," he added, "I'd like to hear what he knows."

‪Romney also said he doesn’t want to comment on the process or how Bolton’s testimony comes about.

"The leaders are trying to negotiate that process right now," he said. "But ultimately I'd expect I'd want to hear from John Bolton."

1065d ago / 9:59 PM UTC

White House on impeachment: where things stand

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Trump has found himself at a standstill on the impeachment front with Pelosi’s decision to hold up articles of impeachment, leaving him waiting on her next move before he can make his. 

The White House is holding off on making any strategic moves until the Senate receives the articles of impeachment and starts to determine what the rules of a trail will be, said a White House official.  

Key factors, like whether witnesses will be called or who will be making the case in the Senate for Democrats, will affect parts of the White House’s strategy. The uncertainty of what the White House’s defense will need to look like came into focus on Monday when Bolton said on Monday that he would be willing to testify if subpoenaed by the Senate. 

One key decision Trump has yet to make is who will lead his defense team in a Senate trial. It has been expected that White House counsel Pat Cipollone will have a role, but a final decision on who will be mounting the defense won’t be made until the articles of impeachment are sent over, the official said. 

Behind the scenes, White House staffers are continuing to talk with their Senate allies about the process and refine their case, the officials said. In the meantime, Trump took to Twitter and the Rush Limbaugh show on Monday to try to continue mounting his defense.

1065d ago / 9:18 PM UTC

WATCH: The latest developments in the impeachment inquiry

1065d ago / 7:41 PM UTC

GOP senators introduce resolution to dismiss impeachment

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley on Monday introduced a resolution to update Senate rules to allow a motion to dismiss articles of impeachment for lack of prosecution.

"If Speaker Pelosi is afraid to try her case, the articles should be dismissed for failure to prosecute and Congress should get back to doing the people’s business," Hawley said.

Ten other Republican senators, including Rick Scott of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, co-sponsored the measure.

1065d ago / 7:35 PM UTC
1065d ago / 7:01 PM UTC

Schumer, Pelosi demand Bolton, other witnesses be allowed to testify

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday called on Republican senators to back his request for witness testimony and Trump administration documents after former national security adviser John Bolton announced he would be willing to testify in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial.

"It is now up to four Senate Republicans to support bringing in Mr. Bolton, and the other three witnesses, as well as the key documents we have requested to ensure all the evidence is presented at the onset of a Senate trial," Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. "Given that Mr. Bolton’s lawyers have stated he has new relevant information to share, if any Senate Republican opposes issuing subpoenas to the four witnesses and documents we have requested they would make absolutely clear they are participating in a cover-up.”

Bolton, who according to witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry expressed concerns about the administration's dealings with Ukraine, announced in a statement earlier Monday that he would be willing to testify in the Senate impeachment trial if subpoenaed.

After Bolton's statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, both Democrats from California, also called for allowing the witnesses to testify in the Senate trial. 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has rejected Democratic calls for witnesses, including Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Mulvaney's senior adviser and a top White House budget office official. McConnell said last month that the Senate "is meant to act as judge and jury to hear a trial, not to re-run the entire fact-finding investigation because angry partisans rushed sloppily through it.”

1065d ago / 6:05 PM UTC

Trump administration downplays Bolton's willingness to testify

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A Trump administration official reacted to news that John Bolton is willing to testify, telling NBC News that, "The idea that we can re-investigate everything all the time makes a mockery of the process."

This administration official tried to downplay concerns about Bolton testifying telling NBC News: "Bolton could say he disagrees with the president, but that’s not an impeachable offense."

A White House official also told NBC News that, "It was the House’s job to develop evidence. Bolton’s statement doesn’t change the Senate’s role in ruling on the evidence provide[d] by the House." 

1065d ago / 5:39 PM UTC

Rep. Khanna: Trump Iran actions could be 'another impeachable offense'

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, spoke to MSNBC on Monday and discussed the war powers resolution that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced she would introduce to the House days amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

Khanna described the Trump administration’s strike last week on Gen. Qasem Soleimani as "unconstitutional," and said Congress needs to "reassert" its role by passing the resolution. He expressed confidence that the vote to pass the resolution would be bipartisan. Khanna said the president would violate the Constitution if he disregards the resolution should it be passed, adding that doing so would be "frankly another impeachable offense."

 Khanna said that adding that offense to the articles of impeachment is an option that is "definitely on the table." "It should be scary to people what this president is doing," Khanna said. "No regard for the decision-making process, no consultation with Congress. This is exactly what the framers intended the impeachment power to be used for.”  When asked about Trump’s tweet that he would use Twitter to notify Congress of his courses of action, Khanna said "it's not just that he has to notify Congress. He has to get Congress' approval."

1065d ago / 5:03 PM UTC

Bolton willing to testify in Senate impeachment trial if subpoenaed

WASHINGTON — Former national security adviser John Bolton says he is now willing to testify in the Senate impeachment trial if subpoenaed.

In a statement obtained by NBC News, Bolton writes, "I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify."

Bolton had a front-row seat to the White House’s pressure campaign against Ukraine to investigate the son of Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden, including the decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine. He served as Trump’s national security adviser for more than a year, until his departure in September just a couple of weeks before the Ukraine pressure effort became public.

Bolton has previously said he would not testify before the House Intelligence Committee during its impeachment investigation unless he was subpoenaed and a judge ordered him to defy the White House by appearing before Congress.

Read more here.

1065d ago / 3:23 PM UTC
1065d ago / 2:41 PM UTC

Trump: Impeachment 'is a con game by the Dems to help with the election'

1065d ago / 2:37 PM UTC

Graham threatens to 'take matters in our own hands' if Pelosi doesn't send impeachment articles

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday that if the House doesn't submit articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate this week, he will seek to change the impeachment rules so the Senate can proceed to a trial without them.

Speaking on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," Graham said: "If we don't get the articles this week, then we need to take matters in our own hands and change the rules."

"Deem them to be delivered to the Senate," he continued, adding, "My goal is to start this trial in the next coming days, not let [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi take over the Senate."

Read the full story.

1065d ago / 2:34 PM UTC
1066d ago / 6:45 PM UTC

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.

1066d ago / 6:18 PM UTC

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.

1066d ago / 6:02 PM UTC
1066d ago / 5:41 PM UTC

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.

1066d ago / 4:27 PM UTC

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.

1066d ago / 3:14 PM UTC

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.

1068d ago / 9:26 PM UTC
1068d ago / 9:24 PM UTC

'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.

1068d ago / 9:23 PM UTC
1068d ago / 6:47 PM UTC

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.

1068d ago / 6:45 PM UTC

1068d ago / 6:43 PM UTC

Judge allows indicted Giuliani associate to turn over documents to Congress

A Rudy Giuliani associate awaiting trial on campaign finance charges can turn over evidence requested by House impeachment investigators, a federal court judge in New York ruled Friday. 

The House had asked Lev Parnas back in September to turn over all documents he had involving Giuliani and other key players in the administration's effort to press the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. 

Parnas, 47, initially refused to comply — but had a change of heart after he was arrested for in October for violating campaign finance laws.

Parnas' lawyer, Joseph Bondy, said the documents were in prosecutors' hands after his client's arrest, and asked the judge for permission to turn the relevant documents over to the House Intelligence committee.  

"These materials fall within the scope of the September 30, 2019 letter request and October 10, 2019 subpoena of the United States House of Representatives’ Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), in connection with the presidential impeachment inquiry," Bondy wrote. "Review of these materials is essential to the committee’s ability to corroborate the strength of Mr. Parnas’s potential testimony."

Bondy added that the Department of Justice "does not object" to Parnas handing the materials over. 

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Oetken granted the request in a two-sentence order on Friday. It's unclear when the materials will be turned over or what exactly the documents are. 

1068d ago / 3:56 PM UTC
1069d ago / 1:10 AM UTC

Senate Democrats held NYE impeachment call

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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.

1069d ago / 9:50 PM UTC
1069d ago / 9:40 PM UTC

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.

1069d ago / 8:12 PM UTC
1069d ago / 7:51 PM UTC

'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.

1069d ago / 7:20 PM UTC
1069d ago / 4:19 PM UTC

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.

1069d ago / 3:09 PM UTC
1070d ago / 6:35 PM UTC

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. 

1070d ago / 5:54 PM UTC

Trump-Ukraine controversy raises new fears over Russian aggression

1070d ago / 5:52 PM UTC

Klobuchar, Booker call for witnesses in impeachment trial

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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.

1070d ago / 5:30 PM UTC
1070d ago / 4:16 PM UTC

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.

Read the full story.

1070d ago / 4:09 PM UTC
1070d ago / 4:08 PM UTC

Trump: 'I look forward to' the Senate trial

President Donald Trump said late Tuesday that he's looking forward to the upcoming Senate impeachment trial and defended his dealings with Ukraine as aimed at fighting corruption and motivated partly by his desire for major European countries to step up their foreign aid.

"The impeachment thing is a hoax. It’s a big, fat hoax," Trump said when asked during a New Year's Eve party at Mar-a-Lago whether he was spoiling for a fight in the Senate trial, expected to begin in January. 

"I look forward to it," the president added after noting that the House vote to impeach him was almost entirely along party lines. "I mean, we’ll see. We have absolutely — we did nothing wrong. All you have to do is read the transcripts. If you read the transcripts — or you could also do something else. You could go see or speak to the president of Ukraine, and the president of Ukraine said, loudly and boldly — and I appreciate his statement — he said it many times: There was no pressure." 

Trump emphasized that he thinks European countries should contribute a more equitable share of foreign aid and that he raised the issue on the July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the center of the impeachment proceedings.

"I do say two things: We have to check corruption, and we also have to find out why is it that the United States is always giving foreign countries money," Trump said. "And Germany and France and all of Europe — they’re not doing much. In fact, they’re not doing anything, relative to this. Why is it always the United States?  I’ve been asking you those questions and making those statements for a long time to everybody standing here. Nobody ever mentions that. That was part of it. In fact, that’s in the transcript also. I talk about — a very good woman, to be honest with you — Chancellor Merkel. But I said, 'Where is Chancellor Merkel? Where is President Macron of France? Why aren’t they putting up money?  Why is it always the United States?' Nobody ever covers that, but that’s a big factor.

"So I think that’s going to go very quick. I think it’s going to go very easy," Trump said, referring to Republican support in Congress.

1071d ago / 9:57 PM UTC
1071d ago / 9:08 PM UTC

President Donald Trump's 10 biggest false claims in 2019 — and one that finally became true

President Donald Trump advanced a dizzying number of wrong or misleading claims in 2019, but none so central to his legacy — and the news cycle — as the torrent of falsehoods about the dealings with Ukraine that led to his impeachment.

Here are 10 baseless, misleading or confounding claims Trump made this year, and the facts — plus one oft-repeated claim that finally, in late October, became true.

1071d ago / 7:03 PM UTC

Trump renews attacks on Pelosi: 'She's all lies'

1071d ago / 4:50 PM UTC
1071d ago / 1:59 PM UTC

See how mass protest can impact impeachment fights

1071d ago / 1:54 PM UTC

Buttigieg: I would not have wanted my son on Ukraine board

FORT MADISON, Iowa — Pete Buttigieg says he “would not have wanted to see” his son serving on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company while he was leading anti-corruption efforts in the country, an implicit criticism of the controversy that has ensnared his 2020 Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden.

Buttigieg, the childless mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said in an Associated Press interview Monday that his administration would “do everything we can to prevent even the appearance of a conflict. That’s very important because as we see it can create a lot of complications even when there is no wrongdoing.”

Hunter Biden’s position on the board of the company Burisma has been a rallying point for Republicans as they try to defend President Donald Trump against impeachment charges over Trump asking Ukraine’s new president to investigate the former vice president and his son while also withholding crucial U.S. military aid.

Buttigieg insisted that the issues raised about Hunter Biden and his father by Trump and his defenders are a diversionary tactic. “[A]t the same time, again, I think this is being used to divert attention from what’s really at stake in the impeachment process," he said. "There’s been no allegation, let alone finding of any kind of wrongdoing.”

Biden campaign aides reached on Monday declined to comment on Buttigieg’s remarks.

1071d ago / 1:46 PM UTC

GOP Sen. Susan Collins criticizes McConnell, Democrats for pre-Trump trial comments

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, criticized Republicans and Democrats — citing Sens. Mitch McConnell and Elizabeth Warren by name — for making comments about the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump before it has even started.

Collins, a moderate Republican who faces a tough re-election battle next year, said in a radio interview on Monday that it was "inappropriate" for McConnell to say he was working in "total coordination" with the White House and she excoriated Democrats for prejudging the process.

"It is inappropriate, in my judgment, for senators on either side of the aisle to prejudge the evidence before they have heard what is presented to us because the each of us will take an oath, an oath that I take very seriously, to render impartial justice," Collins told Maine Public Radio.

Read more here.

1071d ago / 1:45 PM UTC
1072d ago / 2:35 AM UTC

Article II: Inside Impeachment — Awaiting a Senate trial

Today on Article II, guest host Julia Ainsley talks to Frank Thorp, NBC News reporter and producer covering the Senate, about what to expect in the upcoming impeachment trial.

The two discuss:

  • The rules governing the trial.
  • The key figures who will determine how and when the trial unfolds.
  • The political importance of running a fair trial, particularly for moderate Republicans.

The episode also features answers to listener questions about the role that Chief Justice John Roberts will play and whether senators could abstain from voting.

Thanks for listening, and happy new year!