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Live Reporting

By Max Matza and Holly Honderich

All times stated are UK

  1. That's a wrap

    White House

    That's it for our live impeachment coverage today.

    House Democrats have levelled two charges at President Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

    On Thursday, members of the House Judiciary Committee will assemble to vote on both articles, which need to be approved separately. The articles are expected to be passed in the Democratic-controlled committee, before being sent on to the entire House of Representatives for debate.

    Looking for more?

  2. Polls show little change among voters

    Democratic support for impeachment of Trump is levelling off, new polling suggests. And a majority of all voters oppose the move in three crucial swing states.

    A poll by FireHouse Strategies released on Tuesday found that Trump's impeachment and removal from office is opposed by 50.8% of voters in Michigan, 52.2% in Pennsylvania and 57.8% of Wisconsin voters.

    Meanwhile, an analysis of 50 national polls conducted by FiveThirtyEight indicates that Democratic support for impeachment is slipping slightly.

    Only nine percent of Republicans support impeachment. The move is supported by 84% of Democrats and 43% of independent voters.

    FiveThirtyEight found that impeachment is currently supported by 47.9% of Americans and opposed by 43.6%.

  3. 'If it talks like a duck, Republicans are calling it an avocado'

    Zoe Lofgren

    California Democrat Zoe Lofgren gave her assessment to the BBC in Washington.

    "I think the articles are very well founded, they're supported by the evidence," said Lofgren, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee. "But it's not a time for joy, when a president threatens the constitutional order in this way."

    Lofgren is the only member of Congress who was part of both the Nixon and Clinton impeachments and is still serving today.

    Asked by the BBC's Katty Kay if impeachment had become a "political tool", Lofgren said she believed the US Founding Father's intended it to "curb an ongoing threat, which is present in this case".

    "If it talks like a ducks, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, the Republicans are calling it an avocado," Lofgren says, quoting a headline in the Washington Post newspaper over an article detailing the Republicans' defence of the president.

    "I still hope that the Republicans will look at the facts and reach a conclusion to defend our country."

  4. Read the text of the impeachment articles

    The articles of impeachment are now written, and are expected to be voted through by the full House in the coming days.

    You can read them for yourself here:

    View more on twitter
  5. Republicans speak out

    Congressional Republicans are now speaking, and accusing the Democrats using impeachment to try to overturn the 2016 presidential election.

    "Back in 2016, Democrats called those who supported Donald Trump deplorable," House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy said, referring to a quote from Trump's former rival Hillary Clinton.

    "And now, they’re trying to disqualify their votes," he added.

    "Democrats still cannot get over the fact that the president won the election and they lost," he told reporters, speaking alongside other Republican lawmakers.

  6. Trump to rally in Pennsylvania Tuesday night

    Fans in Hershey, Pennsylvania, cheered for Trump when he rallied there in 2016
    Image caption: Trump held a rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in 2016

    Trump is holding a re-election rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, tonight - home of the country's most famous chocolate brand.

    He will undoubtedly denounce the impeachment inquiry, as he has consistently since it began in late September.

    He then will travel to Michigan with Vice-President Mike Pence for his first visit to the swing state in nine months.

    Shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday, Trump visited another swing state, Florida, for a "Keep America Great" campaign rally.

    All three swing states were won by Trump in 2016, and will be central to his 2020 campaign.

  7. Trump tweets defence

    The partial call log was shown during November's impeachment hearings
    Image caption: The partial US-Ukraine call log was picked over by lawmakers during November's impeachment hearings

    Trump has tweeted that Democrats who argue "that I 'pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 Election'," know "that it's not true".

    "Both the President & Foreign Minister of Ukraine said, many times, that there 'WAS NO PRESSURE,' he wrote.

    He also argued that his request to the president of Ukraine in a 25 July phone call - "I would like you to do us a favour, though" - was made on behalf of the United States and not himself.

    "Read the Transcripts! 'us' is a reference to USA, not me!" he says.

    Democrats say that request for a "favour" - which was made after Trump's Ukrainian counterpart mentioned US military aid - was an attempt to have Ukraine meddle in the 2020 US presidential election.

    That favour, Democrats say, would take the form of a Ukrainian investigation into Trump's political rival, Joe Biden, and another probe into the unsubstantiated "CrowdStrike" conspiracy theory that argues that Ukraine - not Russia - sought to meddle in the 2016 election.

  8. Pelosi is back to business

    Pelosi NAFTA announcement

    Less than an hour after announcing the articles of impeachment, Pelosi appeared at a different podium with House Democrats to announce they had reached agreement on changes to a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico - Trump's renegotiation of NAFTA.

    "This is a day we've all been working to and working for on the path to yes," Pelosi said.

    It's an apparent victory for President Trump, who has promoted the deal across the country and tweeted this morning calling it "the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA".

    Pelosi was peppered by questions from reporters on the timing of the deal, asking how Democrats could give the president a bipartisan win on the same day impeachment articles were announced.

    "We're declaring victory for the American worker," Pelosi said, stressing the changes made by Democrats to Trump's original deal.

    "It's a whiplash morning," a reporter said to Pelosi.

    "And the day is young," she replied.

  9. Trump spokeswoman: 'baseless' probe 'hurts the American people'

    Stephanie Grisham and Donald Trump
    Image caption: White House Press Secretary Sephanie Grisham and Donald Trump

    White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham issued a statement following the Democrats' announcement.

    "Today, in a baseless and partisan attempt to undermine a sitting president, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats announced the pre-determined outcome of their sham impeachment - something they have been seeking since before President Trump was inaugurated."

    "The announcement of two baseless articles of impeachment does not hurt the president, it hurts the American people... The president will address these false charges in the Senate and expects to be fully exonerated, because he did nothing wrong."

  10. How the Democrats announced the charges

    Video content

    Video caption: Democrats announce charges of impeachment

    The US House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler announced two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

    The president is accused of pressuring Ukraine to intervene in US domestic politics. Trump denies any wrong doing. If the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee votes to approve the articles later this week, they will then be submitted to the full House of Representatives for a full vote. If the articles are approved by the House - which is controlled by the Democrats - an impeachment trial in the Republican-held Senate will take place, possibly early in January.

  11. Democrats' strategy: 'Keep it simple, stupid'

    Anthony Zurcher

    BBC North America reporter

    Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump

    Ever since Nancy Pelosi announced last week that she was instructing the Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, speculation swirled as to what exactly they would look like. Would they be broad, sweeping in a hodgepodge of alleged presidential misdeeds that include evidence gathered over the course of Mr Trump’s three-year presidency? Or would they go narrow, and focus primarily on this latest Ukraine controversy.

    Now we have our answer. Narrow it is.

    Democrats probably decided to, as the saying goes, "keep it simple, stupid". They have what they hope will be an easy-to-understand case of presidential abuse of power, by using the vast tools of foreign policy at his disposal for personal political gain. As a backstop to these charges, they are accusing the president of attempting to obstruct Congress’s investigation by denying relevant documents and witness testimony.

    At stake, they will argue, is the security of the 2020 presidential election and the protection of congressional authority as a co-equal branch of government.

    The main script from here appears clear – a quick vote in the Judiciary Committee, followed by one on the floor of the House of Representatives; presidential impeachment and a Senate trial.

    In the meantime, much to the consternation of some liberals, congressional Democrats will move to hand the president a policy victory – by approving his renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    And during all of this, a fever of allegations and accusations – of intelligence agency misconduct in its investigation of 2016 Trump-Russia ties, presidential Twitter barbs at his own FBI director, criminal investigations of the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and much more – continue to swirl and threaten to erupt and disrupt the process in one way or another.

    While the main script may be clear, beneath the surface unpredictability is the only predictable result.

    Democrats announce impeachment
  12. Expert witness: 'Charges a mere chihuahua, not a dangerous beast'

    A Roman relief depicts Hercules taming Cerberus, the three-headed beast that guards the gates of Hades, the mythological underworld
    Image caption: A Roman relief depicts Hercules taming Cerberus, the three-headed beast that guards the gates of Hades, the mythological underworld

    Jonathan Turley, professor of constitutional law at George Washington University, was called by Republicans to testify on the legal grounds for impeachment last week. He writes that Democrats have made an underwhelming case for removing a president.

    For three years, Democratic members have pledged to unleash the dogs of impeachment to devour a president despised by their base.

    Today, the doors finally opened and the public found itself staring not at a multi-headed Cerberus from Hades, but a couple of underfed chihuahuas.

    In my testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last week, I focused on the crimes like bribery that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff declared repeatedly were now well-established.

    Those claims were legally unfounded and untenable, though the other witnesses and members vociferously insisted that they were clear and established.The response was all too familiar.

    For three years, the same Democratic leadership told the public that a variety of criminal and impeachable acts were proven in the Mueller investigation. None of those crimes are now part of this impeachment. Why? Because it would have been too easy an impeachment?

    Instead, the House will go forward on the only two plausible grounds that I outlined in my testimony: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

    Unlike the other claims, the problem is not with the legal basis for such impeachable offenses but the evidentiary record. This record remains both incomplete and conflicted. The Democrats have insisted on impeaching by Christmas rather than build a record to support such charges.

    This is now the fastest investigation with the thinnest record supporting the narrowest impeachment in modern history. It is precisely what President Trump (who not surprisingly has supported the Democratic move for a fast impeachment) would relish.

    The Democrats just gave him the best Christmas gift he could hope for. Two chihuahuas with barely the energy to make the walk over to the Senate.

    chihuahuas
  13. What happens next?

    White House

    Announcing the charges today, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrod Nadler said that "nothing could be more urgent" than impeachment, as top Democrats continue to push the process along.

    So what happens next?

    1. Judiciary committee votes on articles of impeachment

    Nadler's committee plans to vote on Thursday on the two articles which will have to be approved separately. Members are expected to toe the party line, with the committee's 24 Democrats voting to approve, and the 17 Republicans voting against.

    2. House of Representatives debate articles of impeachment

    As House Speaker, Pelosi will run the show, but Republicans may attempt to slow the process down.

    3. House votes on articles of impeachment

    Each article will be voted on separately and must be approved by a simple majority. Again, the vote is expected to fall along party lines. With Democrats holding a 233-197 advantage, and independent Republican Justin Amash supporting impeachment, the articles are likely to pass. A vote might take place before Christmas.

    4. Senate trial

    Here's where the Democratic-led process will meet a formidable barrier: the Republican-controlled Senate.

    With Republicans holding a 53-47 majority, the two-thirds majority required to convict the president will be a difficult hurdle to clear. Around 20 Republicans would have to defect from their party for Trump to be removed from office.

    Impeachment guide
  14. A long time coming

    Jon Sopel

    BBC North America Editor

    We knew it was coming.

    The talk has been of little else. Impeachment seems to be the only thing I’ve been reporting on for these past couple of months. But even still when the chairman of the Judiciary Committee charged the president with "high crimes and misdemeanours", it still made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

    For all the sound and fury of today's politics this is not an everyday occurrence.

    If the House of Representatives votes to impeach Donald J Trump, he will join Andrew Johnson (1868) and Bill Clinton (1998) as only the two other presidents to be sanctioned in this way since American independence.

    But that's for the history books. It's what happens next that matters.

    Will this be a grievous blow to Donald Trump winning a second term or will the American people see this as a political hit-job against their president?

    The language is of upholding the constitution - but don’t be gulled - there is raw political calculation too.

  15. What is Trump not being charged with?

    Democrats have made many claims against Trump, but ultimately only chose two articles of impeachment - obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.

    There had been talk of charging him with "bribery", with some Democrats claiming that Trump's requests of Ukraine - in exchange for US military aid - amounted to an illegal quid pro quo (Latin for "this for that").

    They also did not allege "obstruction of justice". There had been predictions this might be used in connection with the Mueller report into allegations the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to defeat Democrats in 2016.

    Mueller did not find evidence of Russian collusion, but did cite 10 instances in which Trump attempted to impede the investigation. The Mueller report did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice, and left it up to Attorney General William Barr - a Trump appointee - to determine that Trump did not break the law.

    In strategy sessions, the Democrats decided to keep the articles as narrow as possible, so as not to alienate moderate lawmakers who only backed impeachment once the Ukraine issue came centre stage.

    Speaking to MSNBC after Democrats announced charges, Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, said his party's role is simple.

    "Do we know what happened, can we put it before the American people, and can we hold the president accountable?" said the New York lawmaker, who represents a district won by Trump in 2016.

  16. Trump campaign: impeachment is 'political theatre'

    Donald Trump

    Moments after Democrats announced formal charges against Trump, the president's 2020 re-election campaign issued a statement, dismissing the probe as "rank partisanship".

    "For months, Nancy Pelosi said she wouldn’t move forward on impeachment because it was too divisive," said Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale. "Well, it is divisive and only the Democrats are pushing it, but she’s doing it anyway."

    "Democrats are putting on this political theater because they don’t have a viable candidate for 2020 and they know it."

  17. Need a refresher?

    Trump silouhette

    Looking for a refresher on all things impeachment? We've got you covered.

  18. What is impeachment?

    Google Trends

    ... you're not the only one asking.

    Google searches for "what is impeachment" surged this morning in the US - just as top Democrats announced the two charges filed against President Trump.