Poll finds 60 percent think Mueller probe should end in six months

Poll finds 60 percent think Mueller probe should end in six months
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Almost 60 percent of Americans believe that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s Russia investigation should wind down within the next 6 months, according to a new survey from Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll.

Thirty percent of Americans believe the investigation should stop immediately, the poll found, while 20 percent say the investigation should wind down within the next three months and 8 percent say it should wrap up within three to six months. 

Thirty-two percent say that the investigation, which hit its one-year anniversary last week, should be allowed to go on indefinitely, while 9 percent are open to it lasting between six months to a year. 

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The poll also asked respondents about the FBI’s use of an informant to gain information on the Trump campaign, a disclosure that has set off a new controversy.

The informant met with three Trump campaign officials, a revelation that Trump has called “one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history” while accusing the FBI of spying on his campaign.

The Harvard/Harris poll found that 53 percent of Americans believe that the surveillance of the Trump campaign by the FBI and the CIA was justified, while 47 percent saw the move as unjustified. Fifty-two percent believe that the investigations were started “on the basis of significant hard evidence” and not bias. 

But if the CIA and the FBI were using the informant to “entrap people in the Trump campaign,” 59 percent of Americans believe that would have been wrong. 

And 54 percent believe that “bias against President TrumpDonald John TrumpAvenatti ‘still considering’ presidential run despite domestic violence arrest Mulvaney positioning himself to be Commerce Secretary: report Kasich: Wouldn’t want presidential run to ‘diminish my voice’ MORE in the FBI played a role in launching investigations.” 

Americans are split in their judgment of the investigation, according to the poll. 

Thirty-eight percent believe Mueller has found actual evidence of Trump campaign officials colluding with Russians, while 40 percent do not. The remaining 22 percent of Americans are not sure at this point. 

But amid the debate over whether President Trump should testify in front of Mueller, a clear majority, 64 percent, believe he should testify. 

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,347 registered voters was conducted May 21–22. The partisan breakdown is 37 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, 29 percent independent and 2 percent other.

Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard/Harris poll and a contributor to The Hill, has been critical of the direction of the investigation. In an opinion piece he wrote for The Hill this week, he called the Mueller investigation a “partisan, open-ended inquisition.”

“While people narrowly think there was reason to start the investigation, most think it is biased and overwhelmingly support an independent counsel to investigate the investigators,” Penn said of the new polling.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard/Harris Poll throughout 2018. 

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.