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.

Trump impeachment highlights

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Live Blog

Pelosi accuses Trump of a 'cover-up' after president lashes out over impeachment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Donald Trump of a cover-up on Monday after he lashed out at Democrats in tweets calling his impending Senate impeachment trial a "witch-hunt."

"In the Clinton impeachment process, 66 witnesses were allowed to testify including 3 in the Senate trial, and 90,000 pages of documents were turned over," Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted in a direct response to the president. "Trump was too afraid to let any of his top aides testify & covered up every single document. The Senate must #EndTheCoverUp."

Earlier Monday, Trump accused Pelosi and other House Democrats of hypocrisy over the issue of calling witnesses, claiming they are demanding "fairness" in the Senate trial but did not allow the White House its choice of witnesses or the opportunity to ask questions of those who were called to testify in the House inquiry.

Read the full story.

Schiff says he hopes public pressure will nudge Republicans toward calling witnesses

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Monday that he hopes public pressure to have a fair impeachment trial will put pressure on moderate Senate Republicans in the Senate to insist Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., call key Trump administration witnesses.

"If we had merely rushed the articles over there and given McConnell the chance to sweep it under the rug before the country can be informed about the kind of non-trial he wanted to have, I think it might have led to a different result," Schiff said on ABC's "The View," defending the Democrats' approach to the impeachment process. "At least we have the prospect now of holding senators accountable and insisting on a trial  with witnesses.

"If McConnell succeeds in dismissing this case without witnesses, it will be the first impeachment case — not just involving a president, but involving anyone in the nation's history — in which a trial went forward without witnesses," he added.

Democrats have been calling for testimony from acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton and others who they say have firsthand knowledge of President Donald Trump's actions toward Ukraine.

Schiff also said House Democrats are considering whether to subpoena Bolton, who has said he would testify if issued such an order. But the Senate should hear from Bolton directly rather than through a House deposition, Schiff said, adding that he is skeptical Bolton would agree to appear before House lawmakers.

"Our  goal is to have a fair trial in the Senate, to let the senators evaluate the evidence," he said.

How Chief Justice John Roberts would preside over the politically charged Trump impeachment trial

It's a duty John Roberts undoubtedly doesn't want but cannot avoid.

The Constitution requires that when a president is put on trial for impeachment, "the Chief Justice shall preside." Roberts will be the third to assume that responsibility after Salmon P. Chase presided over the Senate trial of Andrew Johnson in 1868 and William Rehnquist oversaw the trial of Bill Clinton in 1999.

It won't take Roberts more than a few minutes to get to the U.S. Capitol, directly across the street from the Supreme Court, leaving the court that he seeks to run in a nonpartisan manner and entering the highly charged political atmosphere of the Senate. But the televised image of him seated in the presiding officer's chair will be a misleading one: He'll actually have little control over what goes on.

Read the full story.

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ANALYSIS: Could Democrats be better off without impeachment witnesses?

Democrats may want to be careful what they wish for in demanding witnesses in President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

That's the warning some party strategists are sending as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., prepares to send two articles of impeachment and a roster of House prosecutors to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., later this week.

"Given where things stand right now, there's only one smart solution: Get out of this as quickly as possible," said Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis, former chief of staff for Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

The tension lies not in the facts of the case but in the politics of convincing voters that Trump is unfit for the presidency before November's election. Democrats are certain that the president violated his duty to the country and equally sure that there's zero chance that the necessary two-thirds of the Senate — a share that would require 20 or more Republicans — will vote to remove him from office.

Does the value of witnesses outweighs the risks for Democrats? Read the full analysis.

Trump suggests Senate should dismiss articles rather than hold trial

Pelosi says no regrets about holding onto impeachment articles, suggests Trump could face more

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Sunday she had no regrets about holding onto the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump for weeks and suggested he could face additional articles of impeachment going forward.

"Well, let's just see what the Senate does," Pelosi told ABC's "This Week" when asked if the House could file additional articles against Trump. "The ball will be in their court soon."

"I think that the American people have been very fair about saying, yes, we do want to see witnesses," she added. "That wasn't part of the discussion three weeks ago. It is now."

Read more here.

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.

Download the podcast.

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.