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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

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Live Blog

Trump forced to take a back seat in his impeachment defense with Senate set to begin

In what will be one of the most crucial moments of his presidency, Donald Trump will find himself in an uncomfortable position, taking a back seat as someone else mounts his public defense.

Just days before opening arguments begin in his Senate impeachment trial, the president was still his own most visible and vocal defender.

But as the trial begins in earnest on Tuesday, Trump will be handing over the reins for one of the most crucial moments of his presidency to a team of his staunchest cable TV legal defenders, including former independent counsel Ken Starr, the famed defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Read the full story here.

White House's top Russia official put on leave pending investigation

The top White House official responsible for Russia and Europe has been put on administrative leave indefinitely amid a security-related investigation, two U.S. officials and a former U.S. official tell NBC News.

Andrew Peek, who took over the Russia portfolio at the White House National Security Council in November, had been scheduled to join President Donald Trump at the Davos Forum this week before he was abruptly put on leave, one of the officials said. The officials declined to specify the nature of the investigation.

Read more here.

Dershowitz: Trump shouldn't be removed from office even if he is guilty of House charges

Famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, who recently signed on to assist President Donald Trump's impeachment legal team, said Sunday that Trump should not be removed from office even if he is guilty of everything the House has accused him of in the articles of impeachment.

"Congress was wrong in impeaching for these two articles," he told ABC's "This Week." "They are not articles of impeachment. The articles of impeachment are two non-criminal actions."

Host George Stephanopoulos then asked, "Is it your position that President Trump should not be impeached even if all the evidence and arguments laid out by the House are accepted as fact?"

Dershowitz responded, "When you have somebody who, for example, is indicted for a crime — let's assume you have a lot of evidence — but the grand jury simply indicts for something that's not a crime, and that's what happened here, you have a lot of evidence, disputed evidence, that could go both ways, but the vote was to impeach on abuse of power, which is not within the constitutional criteria for impeachment, and obstruction of Congress."

Read more here.

Dem senator says he's 'fine' with Hunter Biden testifying in impeachment trial

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Sunday that he's "fine" with Republicans calling former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden as a witness in President Donald Trump's upcoming impeachment trial.

"We take the position that we want to hear from witnesses," Brown told CNN's "State of the Union." "I don't know what Hunter Biden has to do with the phone call the president made."

"I think many Republicans think that's a distraction," he added. "That's what Republican senators tell me quietly."

Democrats and Republicans have been battling for weeks over just how much more information will be presented at the trial, which is set to begin Tuesday.

Read more here.

GOP senator on Trump asking Ukraine, China for political help: 'Things happen'

During an interview with ABC's "This Week", host George Stephanopoulos asked Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, "Setting aside whether it's an impeachable offense, do you think it was proper for the president to solicit foreign interference in our election?"

"Well, I don't know that has been actually proven," Shelby said.

Stephanopoulos then pointed to Trump's public calls to have Ukraine and China probe the Bidens over the younger Biden's business dealings in the two countries.

Shelby said those calls were just political statements.

"I didn't say it was OK," Shelby said, adding, "people do things. Things happen."

Read more here.

Schiff says intelligence community withholding documents on Ukraine

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday that the National Security Agency is withholding "potentially relevant documents" from Congress regarding Ukraine just as President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial is set to start.

"The intelligence community is beginning to withhold documents from Congress on the issue of Ukraine," Schiff told ABC's "This Week." "They appear to be succumbing to pressure from the administration. The NSA in particular is withholding what are potentially relevant documents to our oversight responsibilities on Ukraine, but also withholding documents potentially relevant that the senators might want to see during the trial."

"That is deeply concerning," Schiff continued. "And there are signs that the CIA may be on the same tragic course. We are counting on the intelligence community not only to speak truth to power but to resist pressure from the administration to withhold information from Congress because the administration fears that they incriminate them."

More here.

Perdue on Lev Parnas: 'This is a distraction'

Trump forced to take a back seat in his impeachment defense as Senate trial begins

WASHINGTON — In what will be one of the most crucial moments of his presidency, Donald Trump will find himself in a position he’s proven uncomfortable with — having to take a back seat as someone else mounts his public defense.

With just days until opening arguments in his Senate impeachment trial, the president was still his own most visible and vocal defender. "I JUST GOT IMPEACHED FOR MAKING A PERFECT PHONE CALL!" he tweeted on Thursday. “They’re trying to impeach the son of a bitch, can you believe that?” he complained Friday to Louisiana State University's NCAA football champion team during their White House visit.

But as that trial begins in earnest on Tuesday, Trump will be handing over the reins for one of the most crucial moments of his presidency to a team of his staunchest cable TV legal defenders, including former independent counsel Ken Starr, famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, and former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi.

Read more here.