Voters say special counsel Robert Mueller did not exonerate President Trump or wrongdoing — but most still say they don’t want to see him impeached, according to a new Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday.
Some 61% of surveyed voters said Congress shouldn’t begin impeachment, with nearly every demographic save for Democrats and black voters opposed.
They were nearly split on Democrats’ ongoing investigations, with 49 percent saying Congress shouldn’t even pursue its probes — compared to 48 percent who said the investigations are fine.
“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 poll.
Yet the survey also found voters disagree with longstanding Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime.
Mr. Mueller has suggested that policy is the reason he did not recommend charges against Mr. Trump over obstruction of justice.
Attorney General William P. Barr, though, says it’s not the only reason, and Mr. Trump wouldn’t have been charged even without the policy.
Whatever the facts of this specific case, voters don’t like the sense that the president is out of reach of the law.
Nearly 70 percent, including majorities of both parties, say a sitting president should be liable. Another 24 percent said charges should wait until after a president leaves office.
The Justice Department’s policy, which has been heatedly debated, stems from the view that the president, as the head of the administration, including the Justice Department, oversees the prosecution power. It would be a conflict, and undermine the system of government, for his own government to bring charges against him.
Under that argument, the correct remedy for a criminal president is impeachment.
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