Trump impeachment: Live updates and the latest news

The Senate trial on the two articles of impeachment against Trump, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, begins next week.
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The fast-moving impeachment of President Donald Trump, stemming from his dealings with Ukraine, has moved to the Senate for trial after the House voted last month to adopt two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The vote followed weeks of testimony related to the president's 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. Follow us here for all of the latest 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

McConnell says he expects Trump impeachment trial to start Tuesday

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that the Senate's trial of President Donald Trump will likely begin Tuesday.

McConnell said the start date is contingent on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sending the two articles of impeachment to the Senate on Wednesday, as she said she would if the House approves, and that the Senate would begin preparations for the trial this week.

"The House is likely to finally send the articles over to us tomorrow and we’ll be able to — we believe if that happens — in all likelihood, go through some preliminary steps here this week which could well include the chief justice coming over and swearing in members of the Senate and some other kind of housekeeping measures," McConnell said after a closed-door luncheon with members of the Senate Republican Conference, referring to Chief Justice John Roberts, who will have the job of presiding over the trial.

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McConnell unlikely to pursue dismissal vote on impeachment articles

While President Donald Trump has tweeted that he would like to see the Senate dismiss the impeachment articles against him ahead of a trial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unlikely to hold such a vote.

That’s because there is little appetite from Republican members facing difficult re-election races in 2020 to cast a vote that could be seen as overly protective of the president, GOP aides and senators say.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., would like to see “2020 Republican incumbents in 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."

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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.

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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.

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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.