Although there is still no word from special counsel Robert Mueller on the obstruction of justice investigation reportedly ongoing against President Donald Trump, a new poll has revealed that most Americans think the president guilty of a felony in interfering with the official FBI investigation into the alleged Russia tampering with the 2016 presidential election. Trump himself has labeled the entire Russia probe a “witch hunt” and any media coverage of the growing scandal “fake news.” But the president’s opinions of the various ongoing investigations aside, it would appear that a majority of Americans believe he broke the law with regard to FBI investigation into his administration’s involvement with Russian operatives and the allegations that Russia orchestrated a concerted effort, possibly with collusion with Trump officials, to sway the outcome of the election.
A poll conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has found that approximately 61 percent of participants believe that President Trump attempted to “obstruct the investigation” into the alleged Russian 2016 election interference. Just over a third, 37 percent, responded that they do not believe Trump impeded the investigations. Three percent responded that they did not know whether or not Trump engaged in obstruction of justice or refused to answer.
The poll also indicated that there is an increasing level of concern for Trump and his campaign’s “inappropriate contacts” or dealings with the Russians about the 2016 presidential election. The numbers show a six-point increase (68 percent to 62 percent) in the present poll over a similar question asked in late March.
A slight majority (52 percent) disapproved of President Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey, but only 22 percent approved, with 24 percent refraining from giving an opinion. At the same time, respondents said they were confident (62 percent) that special counsel Robert Mueller would conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the matter for the Justice Department.
The poll results were tabulated between June 8 and June 11, a couple of weeks after the surprise firing of FBI director James Comey. However, their release preceded President Trump’s own admission on Friday (June 16) that he was under investigation by Mueller for obstruction of justice (after repeated declarations that he was not under investigation by the FBI in the Russian election tampering investigation).
After taking to Twitter to castigate the investigations into the alleged Russian interference for being a “witch hunt” and the media coverage of such as “fake news,” President Trump doubled down on the “witch hunt” label, posting, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt”.
I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
The claim that Trump was advised by Robert Mueller to fire James Comey has yet to be substantiated. However, Trump admitted publicly to NBC News’ Lester Holt that he personally fired Comey “regardless” of any recommendations from others after considering “this Russia thing.”
And while the Trump administration moves through what seems to be a neverending flood of revelations about Trump campaign and administration dealings with the Russians, the president’s job approval ratings have also taken a deeper slide. According to the same AP/NORC poll, the president’s job disapproval rating has jumped to 64 percent (with 35 percent approving of his job performance), with 65 percent responding that they believe Donald Trump has no respect for America’s democratic institutions.
Trump fares slightly better in the Gallup survey, but the numbers are a mixed bag. Although Trump polled at an average of 37 percent job approval for the week ending June 11, the weekly average was the lowest of his administration.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]