Majority of Americans say Trump did not cooperate with impeachment, sought to hinder investigation, poll says
Most Americans say President Donald Trump did not cooperate with congressional investigators in the House impeachment inquiry, and a majority say he did not give Congress everything it wanted because he wished to hinder the investigation, according to a poll released by Monmouth University on Wednesday.
About six in 10 Americans say they do not think Trump cooperated in the House inquiry, compared with 31% who say he has. Just one in 10 say Trump gave members of Congress all the information they requested in the investigation, and 14% say he turned over "most" of it, 35% say he gave "just some" of it, and 30% say he did not give Congress anything.
When asked why Trump might have withheld information from Congress, 35% say it was for "legitimate reasons" and 53% say it was to "hinder the investigation."
Half oppose Trump's removal from office
Half of Americans oppose Trump's removal from office, the poll found, and 45% say he should be impeached and convicted in the Senate. Those numbers are little moved from previous Monmouth University polls on impeachment since the allegations he tried to pressure Ukraine into investigating a political rival surfaced.
"Opinion on impeachment has been rock steady since news of the Ukraine call first broke. Any small shifts we are seeing now are likely to be statistical noise," says Patrick Murray, director of Monmouth University's polling unit.
Sixteen percent of those surveyed say they do not think Trump did anything wrong, and 38% say his actions are clear grounds for impeachment. Thirty percent say Trump's acts "may have been improper" but do not warrant impeachment. Fifteen percent say the actions should be "looked into as possible impeachable offenses."
When asked whether Trump's attitude toward Russia constitutes a national security threat, Americans are about split: 47% say it does, and 49% say it doesn't.
More than seven in 10 Americans say they think most people's opinions on Trump are set and there is no new information that would probably change their minds about him. About a quarter of the respondents say it's still possible something new could surface that might lead people to change their view.
Americans do not express an abundance of faith in the congressional investigation: 44% say they do not trust the inquiry at all, 27% say they have "a little" trust in the probe and 26% say they trust the inquiry "a lot."
When asked about congressional Democrats' motivation, a third of Americans say they tried to follow the facts "wherever they might lead," and 59% say they were more interested in finding ways to take down Trump. Those numbers nearly mirror Americans' take on congressional Republicans: 29% say they wanted to pursue the facts, and 61% say they want only to protect Trump.
Trump has repeatedly called a phone conversation he had July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "perfect" and has encouraged people to read a partial transcript in which he mentions former Vice President Joe Biden. The call was the subject of a whistleblower complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry.
Full text: Read the summary of President Trump's call with Ukraine president about Biden
Despite Trump's urging to read the transcript, nearly one in five Americans say Trump "probably did not mention the possibility of an investigation into the Biden family during his conversation with the Ukrainian president," and 12% say they don't know. Sixty-nine percent say he "probably did."
When asked whether Trump asked for an investigation into the Bidens to advance official U.S. policy goals or for his own political interest, 40% say it was to help himself and 15% say it was both, but more to benefit himself politically. Twenty-one percent say he asked about the Bidens to advance U.S. interests, and 9% say it was for both reasons but more to advance U.S. interests. Five percent say he was equally driven by both motivations.
The poll was conducted from Dec. 4-8 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.