Impeachment

Updated at 1:32 p.m. ET

President Trump "did absolutely nothing wrong," White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Saturday, as lawyers representing the president got their first shot to poke holes in the impeachment case made this week by Democrats.

Saturday's proceedings, which lasted a little more than two hours, set up the White House arguments in the impeachment trial. The proceedings resume Monday at 1 p.m.

Updated at 9:00 p.m. ET

House Democrats on Friday finished their third and final day of arguments that President Trump, impeached by the House, now should be convicted and removed from office by the Senate.

The president's lawyers will get their turn to lay out the case for acquittal starting this weekend.

"A toxic mess"

Updated at 9:43 p.m. ET

Congress has the power to impeach and remove a president over conduct that may not violate black-letter law — and President Trump's actions qualify, House Democratic impeachment managers argued Thursday.

The Constitution doesn't specify that a president must technically have broken a law in order to be impeached, said Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., although Democrats also underscored that Trump did break at least one law in the Ukraine affair.

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

House Democrats finished their second day of oral arguments on Thursday, contending that that President Trump's attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigations was not only an attempt to cheat in the 2020 election, but Democrats said it was also the kind of behavior the nation's founding fathers hoped to guard against.

On Jan. 24, 1966, Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois was thirsty on the Senate floor.

And so, for a moment, he put aside debate on labor law and asked the presiding officer of the chamber a question, his signature brawny bass voice amplifying its importance: Could he have a Senate page fetch him a generous helping of milk?

Updated at 9:49 p.m. ET

The matter before the Senate isn't just President Trump's conduct; it is no less than the fate of the Constitution and America's role in the world, House managers said on Wednesday.

With the ground rules having been settled in the early hours after sometimes-bitter litigation between the House delegation and Trump's legal team, senators returned Wednesday afternoon to hear the formal opening of the case.

Democrats are going first with 24 hours over three days to present their arguments for removing Trump from office.

Updated at 10:51 p.m. ET

House Democrats concluded on Wednesday the first of three days of opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, arguing that the president must be removed from office for abusing his office and obstructing Congress.

Sen. Patrick Leahy walks down a hallway.
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

On the first day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Vermont Edition spoke with Sen. Patrick Leahy for his take on the trial, and a sense of the Senate on the historic day.

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Wednesday

After a long day and night of dueling between the House managers calling for impeachment and attorneys for President Trump declaring the articles of impeachment "ridiculous," the Senate adopted a set of rules that will govern its impeachment trial, in which opening arguments will get underway Wednesday.

The resolution, put forward by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calls for each side to receive up to 24 hours to argue their case, spread over three days.

President Trump's defense team is stepping into the spotlight of the Senate impeachment trial on Saturday. The lawyers, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, are giving opening arguments that could stretch across three days.

Updated Jan. 21 at 2:26 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made last-minute, handwritten changes Tuesday to the parameters for how President Trump's impeachment trial process will play out. Departing from a draft resolution he released Monday night, the resolution now allows impeachment managers and the president's defense to have 24 hours to make arguments over three session days. The draft had stipulated 24 hours over two days. McConnell also altered the rules for admitting the House evidence into the record.

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

The White House is offering a fiery legal response to the articles of impeachment, in an executive summary of a legal brief obtained by NPR.

Decrying a "rigged process" that is "brazenly political," President Trump's legal team accuses House Democrats of "focus-group testing various charges for weeks" and says that "all that House Democrats have succeeded in proving is that the President did absolutely nothing wrong."

A view of the Capitol Hill dome in sunrise light.
Jon Elswick / Associated Press

Beginning Tuesday, January 21, Vermont Public Radio will bring you special coverage from NPR of the impeachment trial of President Trump. VPR will broadcast the U.S. Senate hearings live on the air and streaming at VPR.org

A two-photo collage with the cover of "Whistleblowers" on the left and a profile picture of Stanger on the right.
Book cover courtesy of Yale University Press / Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. House officially voted to send articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate Wednesday, and an impeachment trial could begin as early as Tuesday.

But you might be forgiven if you forgot this all started back in August with a whistleblower's complaint about a phone call between Trump and Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky. The complaint was major news, but speaking out against government impropriety isn't new in American politics. 

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Amid much pomp and circumstance, the Senate took some of its first steps on Thursday to prepare for next week's impeachment trial of President Trump, just the third such trial in Senate history.

Chief Justice John Roberts, having crossed First Street from the Supreme Court building over to the Capitol, joined senators in the chamber and then was sworn in by Senate President pro tempore Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Roberts will preside over the trial.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives has delivered articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, which is expected to begin a trial next week.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named seven Democratic members of Congress as the managers who will argue the case for impeachment.

Those managers brought the articles to the Senate on Wednesday evening.

Updated at 5:53 p.m. ET

The House will vote to send two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate Wednesday, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says a trial to determine whether to remove the president from office will probably begin next Tuesday.

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will also name impeachment managers to lead the prosecution against the president Wednesday but did not say who they would be. "The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial," Pelosi said.

Impeachment Trial Will Pull Warren Off The Campaign Trail At Critical Juncture

Jan 13, 2020

It is increasingly likely that President Trump’s impeachment trial will act as a presidential campaign obstacle for Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and other members of the Senate who are vying for the White House.

That’s because in the crucial days leading up to the first caucuses and primaries, Warren and her colleagues will likely be sitting as jurors on Capitol Hill — instead of handshaking, taking selfies and making their case to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.

With the House impeachment of President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says it's now up to the Senate to adjudicate the matter. "We're ready to sit there and have the trial the Constitution requires," McConnell told Fox News on Monday.

But there's still no date set for such a trial, and McConnell is blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who has yet to forward to the Senate the two articles of impeachment.

Updated at 8:56 p.m. ET

President Trump is now just the third president in American history to be impeached.

Lawmakers passed two articles of impeachment against Trump. The first article, which charges Trump with abuse of power, was approved largely along a party-line vote, 230-197-1. The second article, on obstructing Congress, passed 229-198-1.

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