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 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
- Trump is acquitted by the Senate on both articles of impeachment, with one GOP defector.
- Senate moves to impeachment trial endgame.
- Senators ask final questions before critical vote on witnesses.
- Senators probe prosecution, defense.
- The president's defense delivers closing arguments.
- Trump's legal team digs in.
- The president's defense begins.
- Democrats make case for obstruction.
- Trump impeached by the House on both articles of impeachment.
- Impeachment inquiry witnesses testify: Marie Yovanovitch, Alexander Vindman, Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland, Fiona Hill and others.
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ANALYSIS: Trump may discredit an impeachment trial designed to acquit him
As his impeachment trial opens Tuesday, President Donald Trump's instinct for creating chaos represents an imminent threat to Senate Republicans' ability to protect him, and themselves.
That is, the more Trump discredits the Senate during his trial, the more he discredits an outcome engineered to help him now and as he seeks re-election.
For Republicans, the challenge is to acquit Trump while using the trappings of the Senate to present as much of a patina of high-minded fairness and objectivity as possible. And no venue in American politics is more aptly designed to preserve his power than a Senate that has perfected the art of smothering justice with solemnity.
Pompeo vows to 'evaluate' possible surveillance of ex-Ukraine envoy
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that he will look into revelations that former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch might have been under surveillance, and possibly even in harm's way, before she was ousted last spring in what Democrats allege was part of President Donald Trump's effort to get Ukraine to investigate Democrats.
"We will do everything we need to do to evaluate whether there was something that took place there," Pompeo said in an interview on the conservative talk-radio show "Tony Katz Today." "I suspect that much of what’s been reported will ultimately prove wrong, but our obligation — my obligation as secretary of state — is to make sure that we evaluate, investigate. Any time there is someone who posits that there may have been a risk to one of our officers, we’ll obviously do that."
Ukraine announced this week that it was opening an investigation into the possible surveillance of the ex-U.S. envoy, which recent reports said could violate Ukrainian and international law.
The possibility that Yovanovitch's movements had been closely watched came to light in records House Democrats obtained from Lev Parnas, a close associate of Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. In text messages to Parnas, a Trump donor named Robert Hyde, who is running for a House seat in Connecticut, disparaged Yovanovitch and gave him updates on her location and cellphone use.
Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called upon the State Department to investigate the matter.
In his interview Friday, Pompeo also said he had never met Parnas "to the best of my knowledge. I’ve never encountered, never communicated with him."
He added in a separate interview Friday with conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt that he didn't know Yovanovitch was being surveilled: "Until this story broke, I had, to the best of my recollection, had never heard of this at all."
History shows Chief Justice John Roberts could cast tie-breaking votes at Trump's impeachment trial
A major question looms over President Donald Trump's impeachment trial: Will there be any witnesses?
The decision will be up to a simple 51-vote majority of the Senate under the chamber's rules, meaning the 47 Democratic senators are looking for four Republicans to back their demand that several top current and former Trump administration officials testify.
But there's another way witnesses could get called. Democrats could reach the simple majority threshold with just three Republican members if the presiding officer breaks the resulting 50-50 tie. In normal Senate business, that that job would fall to Vice President Mike Pence, the president of the Senate. But the rare instance of an impeachment trial is presided over by the chief justice, in this case John Roberts, who was officially sworn in for the role on Thursday.
Indicted Giuliani associate Parnas says Trump ordered Ukraine ambassador's firing several times before recall
Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, claimed in an interview that aired Thursday that President Donald Trump ordered the firing of U.S. ambassador to Ukraine several times before her recall was publicly announced in April.
"He fired her probably, at — to my knowledge — at least four or five times," Parnas said in the second part of an interview on MSNBC’s "The Rachel Maddow Show." Parnas and another man have been charged with allegedly funneling money from foreign entities to U.S. candidates in a scheme to buy political influence.
Parnas said Trump once tried to fire Yovanovitch at a dinner in a private area of a Trump hotel.
Trump impeachment defense team expected to include Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz
President Donald Trump's defense team for the Senate trial is expected to include former independent counsel Ken Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton, and defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News.
Dershowitz's past clients include financier Jeffrey Epstein and O.J. Simpson. Also expected to join the team is Robert Ray, who succeeded Starr as Clinton special counsel, the source said. Another source familiar with the White House's plans said Pam Bondi, former Florida attorney general, will join the team as well.
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.