Doug Jones, the most vulnerable Democratic senator up for reelection, on Sunday dismissed concerns that a vote to remove President Donald Trump from office would cost him his Senate seat.
“Everyone wants to talk about this in the political terms and the political consequences term. This is a much more serious matter than that,” the Alabama senator told Martha Raddatz, co-anchor of ABC’s “This Week.”
“This has to do with the future of the presidency and how we want our presidents to conduct themselves. It has all to do with the future of the Senate and how the Senate should handle impeachment and articles of impeachment that come over. That’s how I’m looking at this,” he added. “If I did everything based on a pure political argument, all you’d need is a computer to mash a button. That’s just not what this country is about. It’s not what the founders intended to do.”
Jones was asked if he might be one of the Democrats that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believes will defect from the party and vote to acquit the president. “I have no idea what Mitch McConnell’s talking about these days,” he said.
Jones said he needs a “full and complete picture,” including documents and testimony the White House has blocked, to decide.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said he wants both sides to have a fair chance at making their case before a vote in an impeachment trial.
“We can obsess on this impeachment. We can obsess on the trial. But what I’m trying to do is — I’m trying to get the American people the truth of what all happened,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “ Something very strange has happened. You got 40, 45 percent of the American public that completely support the president. That support is strengthening. Forty, 45 percent that really don’t — obviously, you know, he’s not their cup of tea, let’s put it that way. Ten to 20 percent of the American people in the middle are just asking what was going on. I’m trying to answer those questions.”
Jones said he is still waiting to “see if the dots get connected” on Trump withholding military aid in Ukraine in exchange for investigations into his political rivals.
“If that is the case, then I think it’s a serious matter and it’s an impeachable matter. But 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 said.