- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat in a deep-red state up for reelection, announced Wednesday he will vote to convict President Trump on both articles of impeachment.

“I have reluctantly concluded that the evidence is sufficient to convict the President for both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress,” Mr. Jones said in a press release.

House Democrats voted to impeach Mr. Trump on Dec. 18 on the two articles.

The first accuses him of abuse of power stemming from a July phone call with the Ukrainian president where Mr. Trump requested a corruption probe into a political rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, and Democrats’ activities in 2016, while withholding financial aid to Ukraine.

A second article accuses the president of obstruction of Congress for claiming immunity from the House’s probe and blocking witnesses and documents Democrats sought.

No Republicans voted for the articles in the House, marking the first time the impeachment of a president happened on a purely partisan basis.

Mr. Jones reasoned the president’s actions put his personal interest over that of the nation and said Mr. Trump also obstructed Congress from doing its investigation.

The senator was one of a few moderate Democrats from Trump-won states that Republicans had thought may break party ties and vote to acquit the president.

Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, is another moderate senator who some think may side with Mr. Trump and has been known to break with his party before in voting for Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Mr. Manchin said earlier this week he was still undecided about how he will vote Wednesday afternoon.

The president is all but likely to be acquitted on both charges, with it surely impossible for 67 senators to vote to convict him. The Democratic caucus only holds 47 seats, and the Republicans hold 53.

All Republicans, except for potentially one — Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah — are expected to vote to acquit Mr. Trump.

Mr. Romney said he will announce his vote this afternoon around 2 p.m. EST, two hours ahead of the Senate’s 4 p.m. vote.

Mr. Trump won Alabama by nearly 30 points in 2016, and his support there remains strong.

“By voting to remove President Trump from office, Democrat Doug Jones has given up on serving the men and women of Alabama,” said Nathan Brand, spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “Motivated by left-wing New York and California donors or the chance at a Cabinet position in a Democrat administration, Jones once again disrespected the overwhelming majority of Alabamians who stand with President Trump.”

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is hoping to defeat Mr. Jones and reclaim his past Senate seat, said the decision to vote for conviction “personifies the left’s irrational enmity against” the president.

Rep. Bradley Byrne, Alabama Republican, who is running in the GOP primary against Mr. Sessions and others, also took political shots at Mr. Jones over his vote.

“This is the final straw. Doug Jones continues to show his true colors and put his liberal D.C. buddies ahead of the people of Alabama. I’ve never been so fired up to take back this Senate seat and give Alabama the Pro-Trump, conservative fighter in the Senate that they deserve!” Mr. Byrne said.

• S.A. Miller and James Varney contributed to this report.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide