Doug Jones: ‘I’m concerned that the impeachment inquiry is going to hurt the country’
Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) conducted two interviews with CBS 42 on Monday, both in which he discussed impeachment, his 2020 reelection bid and not having President Donald Trump’s back.
The first interview occurred on television, while CBS 42 broadcast the second one only on Facebook Live.
Perhaps his most notable comments came in the more casual Facebook format.
Jones was asked by CBS 42’s Art Franklin if the senator is concerned that his party’s current impeachment inquiry into Trump will hurt Jones’ reelection prospects.
“Well, I’m concerned that the impeachment inquiry is going to hurt the country, because, you know, the politics are secondary to all of this,” Jones responded. “What it’s doing is hurting the country. It becomes such a partisan issue now. People have made up their minds. I mean, there are no persuadable folks on this right now.”
“Except for members of the U.S. Senate that are supposed to be persuadable,” he added, “because we haven’t seen all the evidence.”
Jones has maintained that he personally has not made up his mind on impeachment because he does not have all of the facts. Assuming the House does indeed impeach the president on the two articles of impeachment that advanced from the House Judiciary Committee on a purely party-line vote last week, the Senate would then essentially act as a jury and decide whether to convict the president on the charges or not. It would take 67 members of the Senate to convict, essentially making it a foregone conclusion that Trump will not be removed from office. Jones has consistently emphasized that he needs to hear from witnesses and examine the evidence first before weighing that decision himself.
“We’re living in a world today where people are not getting just the news like you deliver it in the mornings — [when] it’s just the facts,” Jones lamented to CBS 42’s Franklin. “They’re getting in their own silos. And I worry about what this is doing for the long term health and benefit of the country, given that there are some serious allegations and serious facts that need to be addressed. But, at the same time, not doing it in such a partisan way.”
Commenting on impeachment in the other interview, Jones also told CBS 42, “I’m really disappointed that this has become so partisan.”
“It started out as a partisan issue, and it’s continued — it’s only gotten worse. You know, what I’m really disappointed at — we’re getting these articles of impeachment, and I think clearly they’re going to come over — but we haven’t got the full facts,” he continued.
Alabama’s junior senator claimed, “The president has withheld information. He’s had people not come. You know, he deserves a fair trial. There’s no question, he deserved a fair hearing in the House. But I think the American people also deserved a fair trial as well. And that means getting all the facts. So, I’m hoping that we see a few of those witnesses come. Let the chips fall where they’re going to fall. I don’t know what they will say. And this could be good for the president, it may not be. But they at least need to have those witnesses to testify.”
He added that while senators are supposed to be “jurors,” “it’s not completely like a trial.”
“There is a political part of this,” Jones remarked. “But, at the same time, I’m concerned that people are already making up their mind.”
This comment came in reference to certain Republican senators reportedly already discussing their strategy to fight impeachment with Trump.
“They’re talking to the president about how they’re going to do it, so it’s making it even more partisan,” Jones outlined. “That’s fine to try and plan, but if you’re going to plan, let’s do things where the American public have all of the facts. So, let’s see a few witnesses — let the president call some witnesses if he wants to. Let’s limit this because the one thing about it, Art, [is] we all want to get this done and over with so we can move on to do the kind of things for the American people like we’ve done the last couple of weeks.”
Jones, in making his pitch to voters in the CBS 42 interviews, asserted, “I’ve got their back[s]. I mean, what you’re going to see on the other side (the eventual GOP nominee) is somebody who is going to be running simply on doing whatever the president wants him to do. And the president’s not done everything good for the state of Alabama.”
“[W]hat I want people to look at is let’s look at the real record,” Jones said. “Because you want a senator who is going to have your back, not anyone else’s, not the president’s, not Mitch McConnell’s, not Chuck Schumer’s, not Nancy Pelosi’s. You want a senator that has your back and [is] looking out for you. And I listen to people wherever I go.”
This comes after Jones, who has actually been accused of being too cozy with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on multiple occasions, said last year that representing the majority of Alabamians is not “the be all to end all.”
Some of Jones’ most notable votes have included his opposition to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, support of federal funding of abortions and opposition to a late-term abortion ban called the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”
Nevertheless, Jones told CBS 42 on Monday that when voters examine his record since being elected in December 2017, “[T]hey’re going to see that we’ve worked for people in Alabama. We’ve actually reflected Alabama values.”
You can watch the CBS 42 Facebook Live interview approximately 54-minutes in (the final segment of the video) here.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn