Poll: Nearly 70 percent of Americans say sitting president should be subject to criminal charges

An overwhelming majority of Americans say that a sitting president should be subject to criminal charges, according to a new poll. 

The national survey, which was released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University, found that 69 percent of Americans polled support charging a sitting president. Meanwhile, 24 percent of respondents said that a president should face charges for alleged crimes only after they leave the White House. 

Fifty-two percent of Republican respondents voiced support for charging a sitting president, while 83 percent of Democrats said they’d favor charging a sitting president. 

{mosads}When it comes to President Trump, respondents were evenly split on whether he has committed crimes while in office, with 45 percent saying he did, and the same amount saying he did not. Ten percent said they did not know. 

A majority, 57 percent, of respondents said they think Trump committed crimes before he was in the White House. 

Despite the findings, 61 percent of Americans polled said that Congress should not launch impeachment proceedings against Trump. Thirty-three percent said the body should. Support is higher among just Democrats, with 62 percent saying Congress should impeach. 

The release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has prompted renewed calls for an impeachment inquiry, and has reignited the debate on whether a sitting president can be prosecuted. 

Mueller said last month that his office did not charge Trump with a crime because it was “not an option” under regulations from the Department of Justice about indicting a sitting president. 

The Quinnipiac survey found that 55 percent of respondents believe Mueller’s report did not exonerate Trump of wrongdoing, while 35 percent said the report did clear him.

“Even though questions clearly linger on the true thrust of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, an even larger majority says impeachment is just not the way to go,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

While dozens of Democrats and one House Republican have called for impeachment, polls have shown that a majority of Americans oppose the process. A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released in early May found that 65 percent of respondents said they were against impeachment. 

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted June 6-10 among a national population of 1,214 voters. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percent. 

Tags Donald Trump Impeachment Mueller investigation Robert Mueller

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