Stories

Sen. Doug Jones says he'll vote to acquit Trump if "dots aren't connected"

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) said on ABC's "This Week" that the allegations that President Trump exploited Ukraine for his political benefit are "serious" and "impeachable," but added that there are "gaps" in the House's case and that he is willing to acquit Trump in a Senate trial if "those dots aren't connected."

"What I'm trying to do, because quite frankly I didn't sit in front of the TV set the entire time the last two or three months, I have been trying to read this. I have been trying to see if the dots get connected. If that is the case, I think it's a serious matter, I think 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."
— Doug Jones

Why it matters: Jones, a vulnerable moderate whose vote will likely play an important role in his 2020 Senate race, is viewed as one of a handful of Democratic senators who could vote against Trump's conviction.

  • He stressed, however, that he wants the Senate to call witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton in order to "fill in the gaps," and he urged Trump to allow them to testify.
  • Trump has previously suggested that he wants people like Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to testify in the Senate, where he says the trial will be "fair," but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has signaled that he has no interest in calling witnesses.

Go deeper: Inside the McConnell-Trump impeachment trial playbook