A new USA Today/Suffolk poll seems to show that Americans are growing increasingly antsy with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and now, more than ever, agree with President Donald Trump that Mueller’s investigation amounts to a “witch hunt.”
And although Democrats are still gung-ho on the issue, more Americans, overall, see impeaching the president over his possible ties to Russian officials as a waste of time.
The poll comes just as Democrats are setting up their spring agenda in the House of Representatives, and announcing several brand new probes into the White House, the Trump Administration, and Trump companies who did business with the Russian government and wealthy Russian individuals even before Donald Trump ran for president.
It also comes as Mueller’s team — long believed to be wrapping up their probe into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russian officials to alter the outcome of the 2016 presidential election — is reportedly chasing down a series of “new Trump-Russia collusion leads,” according to The Washington Times.
Although Trump’s opponents have decried his social media campaign against Robert Mueller in which Trump often refers to Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” the rhetoric seems to be having an impact on Americans, who see the Mueller probe now dragging on into its third year.
“Trump’s relentless attacks on Mueller and his inquiry have taken a toll on the special counsel’s credibility. Now, 28 percent say they have a lot of trust in the former FBI director’s investigation to be fair and accurate. That’s the lowest level to date, and down five points since December,” according to the Aberdeen News’ rundown of the poll results. “In comparison, 30 percent express a lot of trust in Trump’s denials, the highest to date.”
The “witch hunt” line is particularly resonant: “[f]ifty percent say they agree with Trump’s assertion that the special counsel’s investigation is a ‘witch hunt’ and that he has been subjected to more investigations than previous presidents because of politics; 47 percent disagree. Just 3 percent don’t have an opinion.”
A majority of Americans — 59% — say they generally trust in the president’s denials, even though around 52% say they don’t trust the president generally. By comparison only 28% say they trust that Mueller’s investigation is fair and accurate.
Worst for Democrats, only about 28% of Americans say that they believe initiating impeachment proceedings is a good idea, down a whopping 10% from the same poll taken in October, before the 2018 elections.
Mueller is expected to release his report soon, despite the new leads, and that may give way to the most contentious period in Trump’s Administation to date, in an administation constantly marked by contentious periods. Over the weekend, the House voted to make the report public, but it seems Mueller already plans to do that, and news organizations have staked their claim, on Amazon and elsewhere, to publishing and disseminating the report.
If the report shows no collusion — a distinct possibility that Democrats seem, in recent weeks, to be preparing for — the House will undertake its own series of investigations.