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Majority in poll want Trump impeached or censured

Nearly 60 percent of U.S. voters say President Trump should be either impeached and removed from office or formally censured according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill.

The poll shows that a majority of votes think some kind of action should be taken against Trump, though they are divided on how far lawmakers should go as Democrats prepare to take over the House majority.

Asked whether Trump should be impeached and removed from office for his actions, censured by Congress of whether Congress should take no action, 39 percent of respondents said that Trump should be impeached and removed from office.

Impeachment would require a majority vote by the House – a possibility with a Democratic majority, though leadership in the party have been cautious on the topic. Conviction in the Senate would require a two-thirds vote, something unlikely in a body that will have 53 Republicans.

Twenty percent said that lawmakers should vote to formally censure the president.

Forty-one percent of respondents said that Congress should take no action against the president, according to the survey of 1,473 registered voters.

The poll results come as Trump faces criminal investigations in both Washington and New York related to whether his campaign coordinated with Russian officials and actors to help sway the 2016 presidential election.

At the same time, federal prosecutors implicated Trump earlier this month in a separate case related to hush-money payments made to two women who say they had affairs with him.

In a memo recommending a prison sentence for Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors said that Trump directed the payments to the two women to ward off a potential sex scandal as he sought the White House in 2016. Those payments, prosecutors argue, amounted to illegal contributions to the real estate mogul’s campaign.

U.S. voters are near-evenly divided on whether the hush-money payments warrant impeachment, according to the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.

Forty-nine percent said they favor trying to impeach Trump over the allegations, while slightly more – 51 percent – said that doing so would return the country to 1998, when then-President Bill Clinton faced impeachment proceedings on two charges related to an affair with Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern.

“When it comes to going after the president on campaign violations, a narrow majority of voters said it would be a repeat of 1998 when President Clinton was acquitted over charges he lied about sexual affairs,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.

U.S. voters are also evenly split on whether they believe special counsel Robert Mueller has uncovered evidence that Trump campaign officials coordinated with Russians during the 2016 election. Thirty-nine percent said they believe he has, while another 39 percent say that he has not. Twenty-two percent said they don’t know whether such evidence has been discovered.

Trump and his allies have accused Mueller and his team of carrying out a “witch hunt” intended to bring down the real estate mogul, and have denied that any coordination took place between the campaign and Russia.

According to the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, voters are also divided on just how long the special counsel investigation should continue, with 31 percent saying that it should end immediately and 32 percent saying that it should continue indefinitely.

Despite that split, a majority of U.S. voters – 59 percent – said that the special counsel investigation is “hurting the country,” compared to 41 percent that said it is “helping” it, the poll found.

“The flurry of post-election Mueller activity has not changed the basic dynamic that while they want Mueller to finish his work the see the investigations as hurting the country,” Penn said.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,473 registered voters was conducted from Dec. 24 to 26.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll throughout 2018.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

 

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