Poll: Majority say sitting presidents should be subject to indictment

A majority of Americans say presidents should be subject to being charged with a crime while they're still in office, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Seventy-one percent of respondents, including 49 percent of Republicans, said sitting presidents should be subject to indictment, while 21 percent said they shouldn't. Thirty-eight percent of GOP respondents opposed allowing criminal charges to be brought against a president who's in office.

Sixty percent of American's said they don't think Congress should begin impeachment proceedings for President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE, while 56 percent said he does not respect the rule of law.

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The debate over the legality of trying a sitting president has intensified after federal prosecutors in New York this month said in a legal filing that Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, violated campaign finance laws when he arranged payments to two women during the 2016 presidential campaign so that they would stay quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump, and that he allegedly did so at Trump's direction.

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts MORE is investigating potential collusion between Moscow and Trump's campaign, as well as Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Poll respondents said Mueller is conducting a fair investigation, by a 48 percent to 38 percent margin. They also approved of the way Mueller is handling his job, 45 percent to 38 percent.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,147 voters nationwide between Dec. 12 and Dec. 17. The margin of error for the sample is 3.4 percentage points.