Jones ‘really troubled’ that Trump’s legal team ‘treating this like defending a criminal case’
Following the first day of President Donald Trump’s legal team making their case to the Senate in the president’s impeachment trial, Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) on Saturday afternoon released yet another video update.
The latest video came after Jones on the day previous called the evidence presented by the Democratic House impeachment managers “compelling.”
Jones’ Saturday video specified that he found Democratic arguments about both impeachment articles as “compelling.”
“Number one, I still think the House [impeachment managers] made a compelling argument on both Article One and Article Two last night,” Jones outlined. “You probably already read all the news, I thought they did a pretty good job of pulling all the evidence together that points to their burden of proof in Article One and Article Two.”
“Today, I was hoping to hear a lot of facts from the [president’s legal team], and we did hear some facts from the president’s counsel,” he continued. “Some facts that didn’t bring out — there was nothing really new for me because I spent a lot of time going through the transcripts and the evidence. And so there were not a whole lot of surprises to me.”
Jones then said, “There were a couple of things, though, that really troubled me a lot. Number one: I do not appreciate the fact that the president’s counsel immediately started out talking not about House managers and their case but about House Democrats, playing to the partisan nature of the entire country. [From] the very beginning of this, I asked people to go out of their partisan corners. I thought that the House managers did a pretty good job of that. But immediately the president’s folks, playing I assume to the president and his base, immediately started talking — and they did it repeatedly — talked about House Democrats.”
“I am not a Senate Democrat in this instance, I am a United States Senator charged with a responsibility of trying to do impartial justice,” Jones added. “So I don’t care to hear the partisan rhetoric. That’s number one.”
“Number two: the president’s counsel seems to be treating this like defending a criminal case,” Alabama’s junior senator further explained. “That’s how I take this. Even though this is not a trial in that sense, it’s certainly not a criminal case.”
Jones subsequently opined that during the Senate impeachment trial, the burden of proof does not completely fall on the House impeachment managers, unlike how it would on the prosecution in a criminal trial.
Jones later claimed that having witnesses testify during the Senate impeachment trial would actually “speed up” the process rather than delay it.
He then remarked, “I go back to the abuse of power. And I go back to foreign, national security that we have here. That’s where these witnesses are so, so important. Because as you will hear over the next day or so, so much of what the president’s lawyers said is pretty disingenuous about withholding aid…”
Jones said, “With all due respect, the [president’s] phone call on July 25 was not perfect.”
He raised the “serious issue” of what Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas were doing in Ukraine ahead of July 25.
“So, with all of that, I’m still waiting for facts that contradict — that completely dispute some of the House managers,” Jones commented in his conclusion. “And those witnesses may exist. They may exist. It may exist in the form of John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney and Mr. Duffey and others; let’s hear them.”
The President’s lawyers made some important points today that should be considered, esp. regarding obstruction.
However—they also confirmed we need to hear from firsthand witnesses that we can cross-examine to get the full truth.
My thoughts on the defense’s 1st day👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/pe9vAgxGIU
— Doug Jones (@SenDougJones) January 25, 2020
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn