Senator Doug Jones, the Alabama Democrat candidate announced Wednesday morning that he would vote to convict Donald Trump and he followed through on that promise.
“After many sleepless nights, I have reluctantly concluded that the evidence is sufficient to convict the president for both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress,” Jones said in a statement.
With the eyes of history upon us, I am acutely aware of the precedents this impeachment trial will set for future presidencies and Congresses. Unfortunately, I do not believe those precedents are good ones. I am particularly concerned that we have now set a precedent that a fair trial in the Senate does not include witnesses and documentary evidence, even when those witnesses have first-hand information and the evidence would provide the Senate and the American people with a more complete picture of the truth.
Jones added, “I am also deeply troubled by the partisan nature of these proceedings from start to finish. Very early on I implored my colleagues in both houses of Congress to stay out of their partisan corners. Many did, but so many did not. The country deserves better. We must find a way to rise above the things that divide us and find the common good.”
Doug Jones was considered a possible vote to acquit because he represents the red state of Alabama, having narrowly defeated Republican Roy Moore, who faced accusations of sexual misconduct from decades earlier. Jones is widely considered to be the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbent, and Jones likely secured his defeat in November.
According to a recent poll, Jones’ chances of reelection would be diminished if he votes to convict Trump.
in a new survey of 500 voters conducted by WPA Intelligence on behalf of the Club for Growth PAC found that nearly 2 in 5 voters would be less likely to vote for Jones if he voted to remove President Trump from office.
The survey found that 64% of the voters opposed President Trump’s removal compared to 35% who do support his removal. 14% said they would be more likely to vote for Jones if he votes to remove Trump compared to 37% who said they would be less likely to vote for him. But what seems most fascinating is that 45% of the voters said Jones’ vote on impeachment wouldn’t affect their decision at the polls one way or the other.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions currently leads the Republican primary for his former Senate seat, the one held currently by Doug Jones. Sessions has been very popular in the state.PJM’s Michael van der Galien noted last November, “The last time Sessions ran for the Senate, he didn’t face an opponent.” However, he’s been blamed by President Trump for recusing himself from the investigation into 2016 election interference and Trump has publicly attacked him for it.
President Trump has been mum on the primary election, and it remains to be seen what he’ll do, assuming Sessions wins the primary. If Trump wants to hold on to the seat, he’ll put the past behind him and campaign with Sessions.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis