WASHINGTON – Nearly half of Americans want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings that could lead to President Donald Trump being removed from office, a poll released Friday shows.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 49 percent of those surveyed want the House to start an impeachment process with an overwhelming amount of that group saying they would strongly support such a move by Congress. Forty-six percent of those polled do not want the House to start an impeachment process.
An even larger number – 63 percent – say they support the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian election meddling and possible coordination between Russians and the Trump campaign. And more than half – 53 percent – believe Trump has tried to interfere in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into actions that would make the president guilty of obstruction of justice.
Sixty-two percent support Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Trump appears poised to remove following November’s midterm elections, over Trump. Only 23 percent of those surveyed sided with the president over his handpicked AG.
Trump in recent days has returned to publicly criticizing Sessions, but 64 percent of respondents to the Post-ABC poll oppose the idea of Trump booting the former Alabama GOP senator from his post.
At a political rally Thursday evening in Evansville, Ind., the president had critical words for the Justice Department and FBI. Trump appeared to issue a threat, saying if the agencies do not “start doing their job,” he will “get involved.”
The poll is one of the first to ask about the recent guilty plea to campaign finance violations by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer. Cohen told a federal judge in New York that Trump directed him during summer 2016 to make payments to two women with whom his client allegedly had sexual relationships to keep them quiet with the intent of influencing his race against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
If the president did indeed order Cohen to make the payments, 61 percent of respondents think Trump committed a crime. Just 31 percent believe, if he gave that order, he did not commit a crime.
More broadly, 60 percent disapprove of how the president is handling his job, with 36 percent saying they approve. He got higher marks on overseeing the economy: 45 percent approving and 47 percent disapproving.
Most of those responding to the survey, 37 percent, self-identified as independents, with 33 percent saying they are Democrats and 25 percent Republicans. Six percent self-identified as “other” or having no opinion about their affiliation. The poll surveyed 1,003 adults, reaching them either on landlines or mobile phones; the margin of error was 3.5 percentage points.
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