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Dem Senator Says He’s Open to Opposing Impeachment

Democrat Doug Jones, who won the special U.S. Senate election against Republican candidate Roy Moore, speaks during a news conference in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S., December 13, 2017. (Marvin Gentry/Reuters)

Alabama senator Doug Jones on Sunday criticized “gaps in testimony” in the House’s impeachment case and said he was still “trying to see if the dots get connected” before determining whether he would vote for President Trump’s impeachment and removal in the Senate.

Jones, speaking to ABC’s The Week, argued that the Senate needed to interview witnesses because the American people “deserve to have a full, fair, and complete trial.”

“It means witnesses, it means documents, it means getting the information out now, in this very, very serious matter, and not over the course of the next few months,” Jones explained. Democrats drew up an “obstruction of Congress” charge against the president for directing “the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas” in the buildup to impeachment, and the White House remains locked in a legal battle over Congressional subpoenas.

The senator blamed the lack of evidence on Trump. “I would like to see a full and complete picture. And we don’t have that because the president has refused to have his people come and testify and deliver documents,” he said.

But Jones — whose seat Republicans see as a top target in 2020 — went on to say that he could oppose impeachment if evidence does not add up to merit Trump’s removal.

“If those dots aren’t connected and there are other explanations that I think are consistent with innocence, I will go that way too,” he confirmed.

A new poll on the Alabama Senate race — which former attorney general Jeff Sessions entered last month — has Jones trailing Sessions, former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, and Representative Bradley Byrne. Only 23 percent of those surveyed favored Jones’s reelection. Among voters 65 and older, the largest age cohort in the poll, 31 percent favored Jones’s reelection; 54 did not.

Asked whether he reelection concern was affecting his vote, Jones denied he was making a political calculation.

“This has to do with the future of the presidency, and how we want our presidents to conduct themselves,” Jones said. “If I did everything based on a pure and political argument, all you’d need is a computer to mash a button.”

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