EVENT ENDED

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

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE

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

Download the NBC News mobile app for the latest news on the impeachment inquiry

Live Blog

Reacting to watchdog report on Ukraine funding split down party lines

Reaction to the GAO report released earlier Thursday, which said the Trump administration violated the law by withholding military aid to Ukraine, was split down party lines.

"The OMB, the White House, the administration — I'm saying this — broke the law," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters after the decision was released. Pelosi said the finding illustrate the administration's "tangled web to deceive."

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., tweeted that the GAO decision demonstrates "without a doubt" that "the president himself ordered this illegal act." Van Hollen had requested the office review the hold in October.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D.-Vt., said, "Congress chose to provide military assistance to an ally which is literally under attack by Russia, and the law required that aid to be delivered. But instead of executing the law and standing with our ally, the president withheld the aid to serve his own political interests."

Republican senators indicated the ruling would not change their minds.

"My understanding of the impoundment act was that you cannot withhold money after the end of the fiscal year. I don't know any other requirements in the impoundment act," said Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

"I mean I think that the president has the right to move money around and all the presidents have worked within this realm, but none of that really rises to anything even remotely close to something you'd impeach somebody over," he said.

Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama suggested the timing of the decision's release was political. "I don't recall offhand the GAO ever getting involved in a partisan political game and they're right in here, you know?" Shelby said.

Reading, campaigning, praying: Senators get ready for the Trump impeachment trial

How do you get ready to serve as jurors weighing whether a president should be removed from office? Senators have just four days left to find out.

Some members are spending the final weekend diving into background material.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that he took notes on the Senate floor Thursday as Schiff read the articles and plans to further review them as well as trial briefs before the trial begins next week.

“I'll get a copy of the [Congressional Record] to review them again and look at the various fine points of the elements of both articles of impeachment,” he said, adding that he plans to review the trial briefs that the House and White House counsel must deliver before Tuesday, which will outline their arguments.

Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said that he’s been paying attention to the case from the get-go — but others, he said, might need to invest more time catching up on the details.

“For any of us who haven’t been preparing, they’re cramming right now,” he said. “I’d say it’s like a test back in college — you probably need to be prepared.”

Read more about how senators are preparing.

The view as lawmakers leave the Capitol

FBI visits Robert Hyde's home and office after he's swept into Ukraine scheme

The FBI paid a visit to Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde's Connecticut home and business on Thursday, a senior law enforcement official said.

The agent's visit comes days after the House Intelligence Committee released texts Hyde sent an associate of President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani suggesting he was surveilling then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

A spokesperson for the FBI field office in New Haven, Connecticut declined to comment. Hyde did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

One of Hyde's neighbors told NBC News that an FBI agent arrived at Hyde's home before dawn and parked out front in a gray SUV. The neighbor said they believed the FBI agent did not enter Hyde's home and left by 10:30 a.m. Hyde has a "No Trespassing" sign on his property and a sign indicating security cameras are in operation, the neighbor said.

Hyde told NBC News earlier this week that he was drunk and unserious when he sent the texts to Giuliani's now-indicted associate Lev Parnas. In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, Parnas called Hyde a "weird" character he met at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and doubted that Hyde was actually surveilling Yovanovitch.

Read more here.

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.