Alabama Senator Doug Jones released this statement to supporters via email this morning:
As you know, I tried to refrain from commenting during the impeachment trial. Now that the trial has concluded, however, I wanted to email you directly and let you know I have made my decision.
On the day I was sworn in as a United States Senator, I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Just last month, at the beginning of the impeachment trial, I took a second oath to do “impartial justice” according to the same Constitution I swore to protect.
These solemn oaths have been my guides during what has been a difficult time for our country. But I cannot and will not shrink from my duty to defend the Constitution and to do impartial justice.
In keeping with my oaths, I have been studying the facts of this case exhaustively. I have read thousands of pages of transcripts, taken copious notes, reviewed history and precedents and discussed this case with colleagues, staff, and constituents.
I have concluded that the evidence is more than sufficient to convict the President for both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The evidence clearly proves that the President used the weight of his office to coerce a foreign government to interfere in our election for his personal political benefit, placing his personal interest above our national interests.
I also believe that the President deliberately obstructed Congress by deliberately blocking testimony from witnesses and the production of documents during the course of the investigation. His belief that he is above the law risks guaranteeing that future Presidents think they are above any kind of check or balance on their power.
Significantly, while the evidence was sufficient for me to reach my decision, the Senate trial was far from fair to the American people. So many witnesses with firsthand information were not allowed to testify and relevant documents were not produced. I pray that there will never be another Presidential impeachment, but if there is I am afraid that this one set a very bad precedent.
I want to thank you all for your support throughout this trial. As my son Carson so eloquently stated this week, you elected me because you trusted me to do what was right. I hope I have lived up to what you expected of me.
Now, as the Senate prepares to get back to work, one thing remains clear: our country deserves better than this. We must find a way to come together, to set aside partisan differences, and to focus on what we have in common as Americans.
I hope I can continue to count on your support. Not just to support my efforts in the Senate and on my campaign, but also to continue the hard work of bringing people together. Coming together as Americans is more important than one person or any election.
– Senator Doug Jones