Most of the American public is following the impeachment inquiry hearings about President Trump, and despite a slim majority in favor, opinion continues to be divided on if he should be removed from office.
In a survey conducted on Saturday & Sunday, November 16-17, on the Ipsos KnowledgePanel, 58% of Americans say they are following the hearings very or somewhat closely.
Additionally, 51% of Americans say that “President Trump’s actions were wrong and he should be impeached by the House and removed from office by the Senate.”
Nineteen percent of Americans say Trump’s actions were wrong but he should not be removed from office and 25% say he did nothing wrong despite evidence that release of US military aid was conditioned on Ukraine’s president publicly declaring that he was opening an investigation into one of the Republican’s top Democratic rivals.
A small plurality (32%) of Americans say their positions on impeaching Trump were established before the Ukraine scandal erupted into public consciousness.
However most Americans (67%) say they have decided on their position in the wake of the first reporting on Ukraine in September with one in five (21%) saying their decision has come after last week’s public hearings.
The Eastern European nation was expecting nearly $400 million in US support — including weapons, training, and advisers — to support efforts to fight off Russia, which invaded the country in 2014.
The $391 million in military aid to Ukraine had already been approved in the 2019 federal budget.
When Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned the military aid during the now infamous July 25 phone call, Trump responded he’d like the Ukrainian President to do him a “favor” in return: investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
Senior Ukrainian officials told The New York Times they were blindsided when they discovered that the U.S. wasn’t releasing military aid this past summer.
The Trump administration told Congress it was releasing the aid on February 28 and then on May 23, but it failed to disburse the funds until September 11.
Testimony is making it clear that Trump manipulated foreign policy for his own political gain by withholding security assistance as part of an attempt to tarnish a family member of his potential 2020 rival.
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