A majority of Americans say that a sitting president should be subject to criminal charges, according to the results of a new poll conducted by Quinnipiac University.
Ever since the Mueller report first saw the light of day, a debate has raged on whether the special counsel investigation holds Donald Trump guilty of any illegal action, with congressional Democrats saying there is enough evidence to implicate Trump. Mueller has since suggested that criminal charges were not brought by his office against Trump because it is not possible to do so against a sitting president -- under Department of Justice regulations -- but many Americans believe that should not be the case, according to The Hill.
The poll results showed that 69 percent of Americans -- nearly seven out of 10 Americans -- support the idea of charging a sitting president. Only 24 percent of Americans said that a president with alleged criminal charges against him should not have to face them while in office. Previous polls on the subject have shown a partisan divide, as was the case this time, but there was surprising support among even Republicans to charge a sitting president. According to the poll, 52 percent of Republicans voiced support for charging a sitting president with criminal charges, while among Democrats, that number rose steeply to 83 percent.Meanwhile, other results from the Quinnipiac poll were equally revealing. When asked if they believed that Trump had committed crimes while in office, Americans were equally split in their answers, with 45 percent of Americans saying that they believed he did so, and the same number of people said that he did not. Ten percent of respondents said that they couldn't be sure. The poll also showed support for not impeaching Trump, with 61 percent of Americans saying that the House should not bring impeachment proceedings against the president, while 33 percent said that he should be impeached. Among the Democrats, the number of respondents saying that Trump should be impeached rose to 62 percent.
As to whether the Mueller report -- which forms the basis of most of Americans' opinions about the culpability of Trump -- exonerated the president of wrongdoing, most Americans believed it not to be the case. While Trump himself claims that it does, 65 percent of Americans said that he was not exonerated by the special counsel report, while 35 percent of Americans agreed with the president's assessment.
Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said that although there is a general feeling among most Americans that Trump should face the music if he did indeed commit crimes, a majority believes that bringing impeachment proceedings against him is just a waste of time and resources.
"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," he said.