Majority of Americans say Congress should protect Mueller: poll

Majority of Americans say Congress should protect Mueller: poll

A wide majority of Americans surveyed in a new CBS News poll say that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE should be allowed to do his job without interference, and more than half say they want Congress to pass a law to protect his investigation.

Seven in ten respondents told CBS News in the poll released Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE should not take action to hinder Mueller's investigation, a number which includes 76 percent of independents and 57 percent of Republicans.

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When it comes to legislation designed to protect the special counsel probe from being shut down by the White House, 52 percent of those surveyed, including 53 percent of independents, say that they support Congress passing a law. Just 23 percent of Republicans surveyed supported such a bill, compared to 75 percent of Democrats.

A bill to protect Mueller is currently being debated in the Senate, where Arizona Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeDemocrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (R) has pledged to hold up the president's judicial nominees until the bill gets a vote.

A majority of respondents do believe, however, that Mueller's investigation is politically motivated, something Trump has often claimed. 51 percent of those polled told CBS that they thought the investigation was politically motivated, compared to 46 percent who say it is justified.

Tuesday's poll comes following a previous poll from CNN on Americans' views of the special counsel investigation in September, which at the time found that respondents, by a significant margin, approved of Mueller's handling of the probe more than Trump's response to the investigation.

At the time, just 30 percent of those polled approved of the president's conduct related to the Mueller probe, while fifty percent of respondents approved of Mueller's work.

Mueller is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

The special counsel has charged four Americans once affiliated with the Trump campaign and more than a dozen Russians in the probe.

The CBS News poll contacted 1,103 adults nationally and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.