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It's Cinco de Mayo in Sandpoint, Idaho, and a downtown pub is giving away free meals to families in need. Not many people are out. A few are wearing masks. Outside the pub, a teenager is playing the Beatles' song "Yesterday" on his violin.

Photo of two men in suits greeting one another with an elbow bump. One man is wearing a mask while the other holds a mask in his hand.
Jeffrey Allred / Deseret News Pool Photo

At the beginning of March, before Utah had any confirmed coronavirus cases, Gov. Gary Herbert stood at a podium in the state’s emergency operations center in the basement of the Capitol. He had an announcement. 

A Bernie Sanders campaign table is piled with stickers, signs, buttons and pens. A campaign organizing event takes place in the background
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — As the Nevada caucus results were being tallied in nearby Las Vegas, the Bernie Sanders campaign was already on the ground in Southern Utah’s most populous city.

Photo of Sen. Mitt Romney at a podium in Senate chambers.
Screenshot NPR Live Stream

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney became the lone Republican to cross party lines in his vote to convict President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial, becoming the only Republican to break from the party. 

Updated 5:43 p.m. ET

The Senate has voted to acquit President Trump on both articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — ending a months-long process of investigations and hearings and exposing a sharply divided Congress and country.

Acquittal on the first article was 52-48, with Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah becoming the only senator to cross party lines. Trump was cleared of the second charge on a straight party-line vote of 53-47.

Convicting and removing Trump from office would have required 67 votes.

Young woman in blue blazer sitting at round brown table in front of a brown bookcase.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

 

In her first year as Utah’s youngest lawmaker, 27-year-old Rep. Candice Pierucci, R-Herriman, often gets mistaken for an intern by security officers at the State Capitol.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

House Democrats and President Trump's defense team made their final arguments in the Senate impeachment trial before lawmakers vote later this week on whether to remove Trump from office.

Both sides presented opposing versions of the president's handling of aid for Ukraine last summer and the impeachment proceedings so far, before ultimately arriving at divergent conclusions.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

The Senate impeachment trial adjourned Friday evening, with a plan to return Monday morning to continue. Closing arguments will be presented Monday, after which senators will be permitted to speak on the floor. A final vote, during which President Trump is expected to be acquitted, is expected next Wednesday around 4 p.m. ET.

Interior photo of Utah State Capitol building.
KUER File Photo

 


Utah’s legislative session kicked off this week. Over 45 days lawmakers work to pass a budget and wade through more than a thousand bills. KUER’s Caroline Ballard joined political reporters Nicole Nixon and Sonja Hutson to help break it down.

Updated at 10:56 p.m. ET

Senators weighing impeachment charges against President Trump spent Thursday firing questions at lawyers as they did the day before, just as the prospect of former national security adviser John Bolton's appearance as a witness continues to stoke speculation. The Senate will enter its next phase Friday — considering whether to allow witnesses and evidence.

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

The Senate on Wednesday night concluded the first of two days full of questions in the impeachment trial of President Trump. The proceeding offered clues about the thinking of senators, but the session consisted mostly of trial lawyers on both sides magnifying arguments they have already delivered.

There were, however, controversial moments in which Trump's counsel took positions Democrats decried as radical or even unlawful.

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a group of Senate Republicans late Tuesday that he does not yet have the votes to stop Democrats from calling witnesses during the impeachment trial of President Trump, according to people familiar with the discussion.

But even as McConnell made the concession, the dynamic remains fluid. Whether Democrats' push for witnesses succeeds or fails could come down to a group of moderate Republicans who have remained open, but uncommitted, to new witnesses since the start of the trial.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

As President Trump's legal team pressed the case for acquittal on Monday, they repeatedly made two points: the charges against Trump do not meet the constitution's criteria for impeachment. And if the president is removed from office for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, it will set a "dangerous" precedent.

"You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like quid pro quo," said one of Trump's lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, calling the charges "vague, indefinable."

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 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.

Photo of Utah valley.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Speaking before the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in 2018, Gov. Gary Herbert hailed the Utah tech industry’s contribution to the state.

Photo of Arches National Park.
iStock

Monday evening, December 2, 2019

Special coverage logo.
KUER/NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is holding its fifth day of open hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. All hearings will be streamed through this video player as they are live.

Photo of Chris Stewart at the hearing.
C-SPAN Live Stream

While Wednesday marked the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Utah Congressman Chris Stewart quipped that the impeachment process actually began years ago.

ANNETTE ELIZABETH ALLEN FOR NPR / NPR

President Trump hosted Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the White House. The meeting came after Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, which cleared the way for Turkey to lead an offensive in the area and which drew bipartisan criticism. Trump and Erdogan held a joint press conference. 

For more information, see NPR's coverage of Trump and Erdogan's joint press conference.

Illustration of U.S. Capitol.
Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is holding open hearings in its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. 

Bureau of Land Management

Reintroduced legislation incentivizing more renewable energy projects on public lands is getting rare bipartisan support.

Special Coverage graphic.
KUER/NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is voting to formalize its ongoing impeachment inquiry. The resolution before lawmakers outlines the next steps in their investigation. Watch the debate and vote on the House floor live.

Brian Albers / KUER

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is wrapping up her first and only term at the end of this year. She made history as the city’s first openly gay mayor when she was elected in 2015. But she also clashed publicly with members of the city council and Gov. Gary Herbert during her time in office on issues like homelessness and the planned inland port. KUER’s Nicole Nixon went to City Hall to talk with Biskupski about her time in office.  

Utah Delegation Reacts to Impeachment Inquiry

Sep 25, 2019
Photo of Washington Monument and Capitol.
iStock.com / Matt Anderson

Updated 5:40 p.m. MDT 9/25/19: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened an impeachment inquiry Tuesday into President Donald Trump. So far, only half of Utah’s delegation have made statements regarding the development.

Updated at 7:48 p.m. ET

After months of expressing caution on a push for impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump Tuesday.

"The president must be held accountable," Pelosi said. "No one is above the law."

The landmark move comes after controversy over a phone call Trump had with the newly elected Ukrainian leader in July and reporting that the president pressured him to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

Photo of William Happer, who resigned Friday from his position as director of emerging technologies for the National Security Council.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

A prominent climate change denier resigned from the White House Friday after he was blocked from establishing a committee questioning the findings of the most recent national climate assessment. 

Jonathan Ernst/AP

The 41st U.S. president is being honored today with funeral services at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. 

Sen. John McCain speaks with veteran.
Sen. John McCain Twitter Feed

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch was among the Utah leaders joining a chorus of condolences and remembrances from around the nation for U.S. Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican and two-time presidential candidate who died Saturday. McCain, who had been fighting brain cancer but whose family announced the day before his death he was stopping medical treatment, was 81.

 

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