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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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

Chief Justice John Roberts swears in senators for Trump impeachment trial

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts arrived at the Senate Thursday afternoon to swear in the nation’s senators for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Roberts himself was sworn in to preside over the trial before he asked the senators to “solemnly swear” to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.”

Two Republican and two Democratic senators — Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. — escorted the chief justice to the chamber before he was sworn in by the Senate’s president pro tempore, Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

Read the full story.

Schiff reads articles of impeachment against Trump on Senate floor

The seven House managers chosen to serve as the prosecution in the Senate trial are making another procession from the House to the Senate chamber Thursday to present and read the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

The managers began that procession through Statuary Hall and the Capitol Rotunda at noon ET. The lead manager, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., then read the two articles on the Senate floor as the other managers faced the dais.

"Donald J. Trump has abused the powers of the presidency, in that: Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States presidential election," Schiff said, reading the text of the first article into a microphone. "He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his re-election, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States presidential election to his advantage."

Read more here.

Trump administration violated the law by withholding Ukraine aid, Government Accountability Office says

The Trump administration violated the law by withholding military aid to Ukraine, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a decision released Thursday.

"Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law," the government watchdog said. "OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA). The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA."

The ruling was released hours before senators were set to be sworn in for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. The House impeached the president for abuse of power, alleging that the president withheld the Ukraine aid for personal and political gain, as well as for obstructing the congressional probe into the hold.

Read the full story.

Ukraine launches probe into alleged surveillance of former U.S. envoy

Ukraine has launched criminal investigations into the possible illegal surveillance of former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and the reported hacking of Burisma Holdings, the natural gas company at the center of the Trump impeachment.

"Ukraine's position is not to interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States of America," the Interior Ministry, which runs the police forces, said in a statement.

However, recent reports pointed to the possible violation of Ukrainian and international law, it said.

"Ukraine cannot ignore such illegal activities on the territory of its own state," the statement added.

Earlier this week, records released by House Democrats appeared to show that before she was ousted by the Trump administration last spring, Yovanovitch was being closely monitored.

Read the full story.

Giuliani associate Parnas says Trump 'knew exactly what was going on'

Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani who has been implicated in an alleged attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, says, "President Trump knew exactly what was going on."

"He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president. I have no intent, I have no reason to speak to any of these officials," Parnas, who faces campaign finance charges and was arrested while trying to leave the country, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in an interview that aired Wednesday night. "I mean, they have no reason to speak to me," he said, referring to Ukraine's current president and other of the country's top officials.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in response Thursday morning: "These allegations are being made by a man who is currently out on bail for federal crimes and is desperate to reduce his exposure to prison. The facts haven’t changed — the president did nothing wrong and this impeachment, which was manufactured and carried out by the Democrats has been a sham from the start."

Giuliani denied after the interview that he told Ukrainian officials that Parnas spoke on behalf of Trump, responding that his associate "never" spoke for the president. Asked by NBC News whether he believed Parnas was lying, Giuliani said, "All I can say is the truth." 

Read more from Maddow's interview of Parnas about Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General William Barr, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and others.

What to expect Thursday in the Senate impeachment trial

After the historic transmittal of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate on Wednesday, here's what we expect in the Senate impeachment trial Thursday:

  • At noon, the House impeachment managers will formally present the articles of impeachment — a process that took fewer than 15 minutes during the trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999. 
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, will preside as the president pro tempore and will call on the sergeant-at-arms to present the impeachment managers. The sergeant-at-arms will then make the following proclamation, set forth in Senate rules: "Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye! All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States articles of impeachment against Donald John Trump, President of the United States."
  • The lead manager, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., will read the resolution establishing the managers and the articles of impeachment.
  • At 2 p.m., Chief Justice John Roberts will arrive, escorted by two Republicans (it's still unknown who they will be) and two Democrats (Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Dianne Feinstein of California), to swear in all 100 senators — a process that took a little over 20 minutes in 1999.
  • Roberts will then read the following oath to the body: "Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God?"
  • The Senate clerk will then call up senators in groups of four to sign the impeachment oath book at the desk, which senators must do to sit in the trial.
  • Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is expected to take some housekeeping measures, which could shed light on what next week will entail past Tuesday's consideration of the organizing resolution.

Article II - Special Delivery

Today on Article II, Steve Kornacki talks to Capitol Hill producer Alex Moe about the historic day in Washington that began with the naming of the house impeachment managers and ended with the delivery of the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

The two discuss:

  • Who the seven House managers are and why they were chosen.
  • What happens now that the articles are in the hands of the Senate.
  • How new evidence could shape the trajectory of the Senate trial.