More than half of Americans support the move by House Republicans to censure Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderGOP group launches redistricting site Legal challenges to stay-at-home orders gain momentum Census delay threatens to roil redistricting MORE, but six in 10 also say that the GOP's move was politically motivated, according to a poll released Monday.

Some 53 percent of respondents in the CNN/ORC poll say they believe the House did the right thing when voting 255-67 late last month to censure Holder for failing to turn over documents related to the "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking operation. One-third of respondents say they disapprove of the action, while 13 percent are unsure.


But respondents also seem to believe the vote was a political move. Only a third of respondents say Republicans had real ethical concerns about Holder's handling of the documents, versus 61 percent who say the GOP was looking to gain an upper hand politically.

The Fast and Furious program was designed to track weapons smuggling by Mexican drug cartels across the border, but drew the ire of congressional investigators when it was revealed that the Department of Justice had lost track of some weapons, at least one of which was used in the killing of a Border Patrol agent. 

The Obama administration has said that it has shuttered the program, pointed to similar operations under the Bush administration, and argued that it has done everything possible to accommodate congressional investigators without endangering operatives in the field. But congressional Republicans say the administration has been withholding important documents.

Holder dismissed the move as "reckless" and, in comments following the censure vote last month, accused Republicans of chasing "truly absurd conspiracy theories" to score political points.

"Today’s vote is the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided — and politically motivated — investigation during an election year. By advancing it over the past year and a half, Congressman Issa and others have focused on politics over public safety," Holder said shortly after the vote.

Support for the censure vote broke roughly along party lines, as did the vote in Congress; three-quarters of Republicans and a majority of independents surveyed by CNN and ORC supported the move, while more Democrats opposed the vote than supported it.

But a strong majority — nearly 70 percent — also believe the Obama administration should "answer all questions" involved in the investigation.

"Public opinion is identical to what it was when the shoe was on the other foot — in 2007, when House Democrats were investigating the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys and the administration of Republican President George W. Bush was claiming executive privilege, Americans felt that the Republicans should answer all questions and that the Democrats were just trying to gain political advantage," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland in a statement.