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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

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

Live Blog

Article II: Inside Impeachment — Lev Parnas speaks

On Friday’s episode of Article II, host Steve Kornacki talks to Josh Lederman, national political reporter for NBC News, about the new allegations being made by indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and how these claims will factor into a Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

The two discuss:

  • What’s in the trove of texts, voice mails and other records that were released for possible use during the impeachment trial.
  • Who is implicated by Parnas’s allegations.
  • The possible motivations behind his account.
  • How this new evidence will shape the fight over witnesses and other aspects of the Senate trial.

Download the podcast.

 

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.

Read the full analysis.

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.

Read what precedent says about the chief justice as tie-breaker.

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.

Read more of Parnas' interview comments.

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.

Read the full story.