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Watchdog Group Files Complaint On Sen. Doug Jones’s Twitter Usage

Chris White on January 31, 2020

A Washington, D.C.-based ethics group believes Democratic Sen. Doug Jones is violating Senate ethics rules against allowing lawmakers to use their personal Twitter accounts for political purposes.

Jones’s personal Twitter account contains links to his Senate Twitter account, according to a complaint Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) filed Friday with the Office of Congressional Ethics. The group said the Alabama senator’s actions violate Senate rules.

“In utilizing official resources for his reelection efforts, Senator Jones has misused taxpayer-funded resources,” Kendra Arnold, executive director of FACT, said in a statement Friday morning. FACT sited rules from the Senate’s Internet Services and Technology Resources Usage to make its case.

Such rules forbid “any linkage from a Member’s official website or social media to any campaign website or social media. Further, a Member’s campaign website may not link to his or her official Senate website,” according to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics rules on campaign activity.

“FACT hopes that the Senate Select Committee on Ethics will act immediately to investigate Senator Jones’ apparent violations and hold him accountable to their straightforward laws governing official, publicly funded social media accounts,” Arnold added.

Arnold’s group included 28 images of tweets Jones published between March 2019 and Thursday that the group says are in violation of Office of Congressional Ethic’s rules against allowing lawmakers to use their personal social media accounts for campaigning.

FACT cited a Jan. 28 tweet from Jones’s personal account in which the senator links to his official account and states: “I can’t make this anymore simple. This moment is too important for this country.”

The tweet articulated why Jones believes additional witnesses are needed in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

I can’t make this anymore simple. This moment is too important for the country.

We need witnesses.
We need documents.
We need #ImpartialJustice.

In this capacity, I’m not a Democratic Senator, I am a U.S. Senator & my oath is the Constitution. https://t.co/PyvVO2EC6B

— Doug Jones (@DougJones) January 28, 2020

“I cannot get my arms around the fact that we may not get witnesses because we don’t want to spend the time necessary,” Jones said in a Jan. 30 tweet that FACT also believes violates Senate rules. He retweeted a tweet from his official account that contains a video of the senator explaining his position on impeachment.

I cannot get my arms around the fact that we may not get witnesses because we don’t want to spend the time necessary. We have a duty to #ImpartialJustice and in the words of Adlai Stevenson “I am prepared to stay here till hell freezes over to get those answers” https://t.co/SbgAEHgnXm

— Doug Jones (@DougJones) January 30, 2020

Neither Jones’s office nor the Office of Congressional Ethics have responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment. FACT filed a similar complaint in March 2019, saying that Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s political Instagram account contains direct links to her House Instagram account and includes a link for political contributions.

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Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.

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