White House should comply with House subpoenas

Only 66 percent of registered voters believe the White House should comply with House subpoenas demanding testimony and documents, according to a Suffolk University/USA TODAY nationwide poll of registered voters, while 26 percent disagreed, and 8 percent were undecided.

Most Democrats (91 percent) and 68 percent of independents support compliance with the subpoenas, as do 35 percent of Republicans.

Agreement about obeying the law was almost unanimous until very recently, and the fact that one-third of Americans disagree today is shocking.

“Process trumps partisanship for many voters,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “Voters at this point are split on impeachment and whether or not the late-July phone call to the Ukrainian president was an impeachable offense. But they want the White House to cooperate with Congress.”

As Congress mulls whether or not to make that phone conversation the centerpiece for drafting articles of impeachment, voters are split on the call.

Nearly 38 percent of voters said the July 25 phone conversation (in which President Donald Trump asked the Ukrainian president to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and his son) was an impeachable offense, 21 percent said the phone call was wrong but didn’t rise to an impeachable offense, and 31 percent said there was nothing wrong with asking a foreign leader to interfere with the American election.

Partisan views

Nearly three quarters of Democrats (72 percent) saw the call as an impeachable offense, while 7 percent of Republicans thought it was impeachable.

Among independents, 28 percent felt the call was impeachable, while 30 percent said that the call was wrong but not impeachable, and 32 percent said there was nothing wrong with the call.

Asked their personal preference on impeachment, 36 percent of voters said that President Donald Trump should be impeached now; 37 percent said the House should drop its investigations of the president; and 22 percent said the House should continue investigating the president but not vote to impeach him.

As with the phone call to the Ukrainian president, political party appeared to determine preference. Seventy percent of Democrats and 8 percent of Republicans said the House should vote to impeach now. Among independents, 22 percent would impeach, while 34 percent said that the House should continue investigating but not impeach, while 36 percent said that the House should drop its investigations.

Last week Trump tweeted that the impeachment proceedings against him were the equivalent of a “political lynching,” but 54 percent of voters disagreed with that assessment, while 40 percent agreed, and 6 percent weren’t sure.

Objectively, the impeachment proceedings against Trump are designed to prevent corruption within the government while insuring due process, while a “lynching” is an act of mob violence that deprives an accused person of any rights.

Trump has behaved like a man who is above the law, routinely engaging in significant acts of obstruction of justice and abusing the public trust for profit and political advantage while occupying the most powerful office in the world.

Methodology

The nationwide survey of 1,000 voters was conducted Oct. 23 – 26 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were registered to vote. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. The margin of error for the subset of 399 voters who plan to vote in their state’s Democratic primary or caucus is +/- 4.9 percentage points. The margin of error for the subset of the 323 Republican and independent voters who plan to vote in their state’s Republican primary or caucus is +/- 5.5 percentage points.


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