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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

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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 says House to vote Wednesday to send Trump impeachment articles to Senate

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that the House will vote Wednesday to send the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, three sources in a Democratic caucus meeting told NBC News on Tuesday.

Sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate is necessary to begin the trial. Pelosi on Wednesday will also name the House "managers" who will prosecute the case against Trump in the Senate, the sources said.

A Wednesday vote could lead to a trial beginning next Tuesday, which lawmakers are expecting.

Read the full story.

Article II - End of an Impasse

Today on Article II, Steve Kornacki talks to MSNBC Washington Correspondent Garrett Haake about the preparations underway for an impeachment trial in the Senate.

The two discuss:

  • Next steps required from lawmakers before a trial can begin
  • What timeline to expect once the Senate trial gets underway
  • Why the impasse between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to have ended, and whether anything was accomplished from the standoff

Click here to listen.

McConnell could nix vote on a motion to dismiss to protect vulnerable GOPers

As Trump tweeted this weekend that he wants the Senate to immediately dismiss the charges against him, Senate Majority Leader McConnell is likely not to mandate a vote to dismiss at any point in the process to protect politically vulnerable Republicans.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.,— a key senator to watch in this process along with four other moderate Republicans: Romney, Collins, Murkowski and Gardner—  said Monday evening that he would not vote on a motion to dismiss because he wants to decide if he wants to hear from witnesses. 

"I would vote against the motion to dismiss. I think we need to hear the case; Ask your questions. Then as they did in the Clinton impeachment we ought to decide then whether we need to hear from additional witnesses or need additional documents. So a motion to dismiss is not consistent with hearing the case," Alexander told NBC News. 

There is little appetite from politically vulnerable Republicans to cast a vote that looks like they are dismissing the charges against the president, which is what a motion to dismiss would do.

"It's pretty clear to me that this is no longer about convicting and removing Donald Trump as president. This is about Chuck Schumer getting 2020 Republican incumbents in two tough voting situations. So I think recognizing that that's his goal, I think it won't surprise you that we're thinking about that too, and how to avoid that as much as possible," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and McConnell confidante said. 

McConnell: Pelosi holding onto articles 'achieved absolutely nothing'

McConnell opened the Senate floor on Monday speaking about impeachment, saying Pelosi "may finally wind down her one-woman blockade of a fair and timely impeachment trial," adding he’s "glad the speaker finally realized she never had any leverage in the first place."

He said Pelosi holding the articles "achieved absolutely nothing," instead accidentally conceding that their "case is rushed, weak and incomplete." He also reiterates that the "Senate was never going to pre-commit ourselves to redoing the prosecutors' homework" for the House. 

"The House has done enough damage, the Senate is ready to fulfill our duty."

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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