U.S. Senator Doug Jones repeats call for witnesses in impeachment trial

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The U.S. Senate moved into the second day of opening statements from the Democratic house managers in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump and the arguments focused on claims the president abused his power by soliciting Ukraine's help in the 2020 election.

The House impeached President Trump in December on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, setting the stage for only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history.

Alabama Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones is among the senators hearing the arguments. Jones is a former U.S. Attorney and during a conference call Thursday, he again called for the release of documents and witnesses related to the charges in the impeachment investigation.

"Every American, everyone in Alabama knows what a real trial looks like," Jones said. "A real trial has witnesses, a real trial has documents, a real trial has cross-examination, but because of Senator McConnell`s rules, we`re not really in a real trial."

Jones said he hopes that will change.

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Jones said Senators appear to be taking their responsibilities seriously, absorbing what is being presented during the trial. He said the mood has been very serious and very somber since the members were sworn-in as jurors.

The Democratic house managers have done a good job laying out details and connecting elements to specific charges, Jones said. But, he wants to hear the case for President Trump.

"So while the case may be compelling, it`s not complete, it`s not complete yet because we haven`t heard from the President," Jones said. "It`s not complete because we haven`t heard from a lot of witnesses and seen a lot of documents."

Jones wants to see more on the Government Accountability Office finding that the Trump administration violated the law in withholding military aid from Ukraine

They "said it clearly violated the Impoundment Act. And that is a real serious issue," he said. "I want to see the President`s lawyers address that."

Jones said the President's defense team should be ready to present a detailed case.

"We still need to hear from the President's lawyers. I hope that they come with some more substantive arguments then they did on the very first day when we were arguing about rules," he said. "And I hope that they come and address the facts and not just dismiss the House's case outright and call it ridiculous,.

"We need to hear facts, we need to understand and know what the President did, what he understood, and how he perceives this, in the president's case from a factual standpoint."

Jones also has a wish.

"That so many people would actually tune in and watch it," he said. "As much of the actual live, trial as they can and not just listen to the talking heads, on radio and television or in social media. Listen for themselves, make their own judgments as best they can."

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