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 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
- Trump is acquitted by the Senate on both articles of impeachment, with one GOP defector.
- Senate moves to impeachment trial endgame.
- Senators ask final questions before critical vote on witnesses.
- Senators probe prosecution, defense.
- The president's defense delivers closing arguments.
- Trump's legal team digs in.
- The president's defense begins.
- Democrats make case for obstruction.
- Trump impeached by the House on both articles of impeachment.
- Impeachment inquiry witnesses testify: Marie Yovanovitch, Alexander Vindman, Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland, Fiona Hill and others.
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Article II: Inside Impeachment — The Chief Justice Shall Preside
On Friday's episode of Article II, Steve Kornacki talks to Pete Williams, NBC News' justice correspondent, about the role of the chief justice in the approaching Senate impeachment trial.
The two discuss:
- How Justice William Rehnquist approached the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.
- What Roberts’s job will be when the Senate trial begins.
- How Roberts will balance his responsibility to the trial with his responsibilities to the court.
Cipollone will take the lead on Trump's defense team in Senate impeachment trial, Conway says
White House counsel Pat Cipollone will take the lead on President Donald Trump's defense team for the Senate impeachment trial, senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway confirmed in remarks to reporters at the White House on Friday.
Cipollone, a former Justice Department official, will be joined by his two deputies, Mike Purpura, a former federal prosecutor and Justice official, and Patrick Philbin, who served in the George W. Bush Justice Department. Trump's personal lawyer Jay Sekulow will also be part of the proceedings.
On Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and frequent defender of Trump's presidential powers who has been floated as a possible team member, Conway said, “We’ll see.”
Conway was equally noncommittal about the House Republicans who may join the defense.
GOP Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a close Trump ally, named some Republican colleagues of his who he said could help with Trump's case in a recent interview with former White House adviser Steve Bannon. They included vocal trump defenders Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, Matt Gaetz of Florida, a member of the Judiciary Committee, and John Ratcliffe, who sits on the Intelligence and Judiciary panels.
Cipollone, 53, had been widely expected to play a prominent role in Trump's defense. The White House counsel since late 2018, he has helped Trump fight against the House impeachment inquiry and worked closely with Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on shaping the process for the Senate trial.
When will Trump's Senate trial start and how long will it last? The picture begins to take shape.
The developments on Friday could put the start date of arguments in the Senate trial of President Donald Trump around Tuesday Jan. 21, after the Martin Luther King holiday the day before.
And that raises the possibility that the trial may not be over before the real kickoff of the 2020 presidential primary on Monday Feb. 3 at the Iowa caucuses.
So what does that mean for the Senate and for Trump?
Trump says 'you have to' block Bolton from testifying 'for the sake of the office'
President Donald Trump told Fox News that he thinks he would "have to" invoke executive privilege to block former national security adviser John Bolton from testifying in the Senate impeachment trial, saying it would be "for the sake of the office."
In an interview excerpt released Friday, Trump said when asked by the network's Laura Ingraham why he wouldn't allow Bolton to testify, "I have no problem, other than one thing: You can't be in the White House as president — future, I'm talking about future, many future presidents — and have a security adviser, anybody having to do with security, and legal and other things. ..."
"You're going to invoke executive privilege?" Ingraham asked.
"Especially — well, I think you have to. For the sake of the office," Trump said.
The administration has tried to prevent several top officials from testifying in the House and Senate proceedings, frustrating Democrats who have called for their testimony. Bolton, a key figure in the impeachment saga who did not testify during the House inquiry, said earlier this week he would be willing to testify if subpoenaed by the Senate.
Trump said Thursday that he wouldn't mind a deal in the Senate for witnesses to be called if it meant that his defense could also call people to testify, including Joe Biden and his son Hunter. When asked whether he’d object to his former national security adviser testifying, Trump told reporters at the White House that it would be up to the Senate, but protecting executive privilege was critical.
Sen. Susan Collins working with 'fairly small group' of Republicans to ensure witnesses at Trump's trial
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Friday that she's been working with "a fairly small group" of Republican senators to make sure witnesses can be called in President Donald Trump's impending Senate impeachment trial.
"We should be completely open to calling witnesses," Collins told reporters in Bangor, Maine, the Bangor Daily News reported. She declined to say who or how many GOP lawmakers she's been working with, but said “I am hopeful that we can reach an agreement on how to proceed with the trial that will allow the opportunity for both the House and the president's counsel if they choose to do so."
Pelosi prepares to send articles of impeachment to Senate, will consult with Democrats on Tuesday
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a letter to Democratic lawmakers on Friday that she will consult with her members on Tuesday as she announced steps to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
The letter also suggested that the House could name its managers, who will act as the prosecutors of President Donald Trump for the Senate trial, and transmit the two articles of impeachment against the president as soon as next week. But Pelosi gave no specific indication of exactly when she intends to send the articles to the Senate, a step that is necessary for the trial to begin.
"I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate," she wrote. "I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further," she said.
McConnell backs resolution allowing dismissal if impeachment articles are delayed
McConnell said Thursday that he is signing on to resolution from Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., that would allow for the dismissal of the articles of impeachment if Pelosi fails to transmit them to the Senate.
It is highly unlikely the resolution will pass, as it needs 67 votes— unless McConnell were to go nuclear— and neither option seems viable.