Society

Poll: Majority Want Independent Russia Probe

| by Jordan Smith

A majority of Americans want an independent investigation into whether there were any ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, according to the findings of a new poll.

Reuters and Ipsos carried out the survey May 10-14, immediately following Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey.

59 percent of respondents, including 41 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of Democrats, agreed with the statement "Congress should launch an independent investigation into communications between the Russian government and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election," Reuters reported.

When the question was last asked in a February poll, 54 percent of respondents, including 30 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats, supported the call for an independent investigation.

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The survey also suggested that confidence in both the executive branch and Congress is declining -- 36 percent of respondents said they had "hardly any confidence at all" in the executive branch, while 43 percent said the same about Congress. In November, those figures were 30 percent and 37 percent, respectively.

"I really don't know what to believe anymore," said John Kremer, a Trump supporter from Birmingham, Alabama.

"If Comey hadn't been fired, I would have been comfortable with the results of their investigation," he added. "My concern now is whether he (Trump) is trying to minimize the investigation."

48 percent of those polled said they wanted an FBI outsider to replace Comey. 37 percent answered that they wanted someone from within the FBI, and 5 percent desired someone close to the Trump administration.

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Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress are pushing for such an investigation.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York said he would block a new nominee to replace Comey until an independent prosecutor was appointed.

"I think there are a lot of Democrats who feel that way," Schumer said, according to the Independent. "We'll have to discuss it as a caucus, but I would support that move, because who the FBI director is, is related to who the special prosecutor is."

Schumer made these comments in an interview with CNN.

"To have that special prosecutor, people would breathe a sigh of relief, because then there would be a real independent person overlooking the FBI director," he added.

Most Senate Republicans have voiced disapproval over the potential appointment of a special prosecutor.

"Removal of Director Comey only confirms need for select [committee] to investigate," tweeted Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer argued May 15 that three investigations into Russia were already under way.

"There's frankly no need for a special prosecutor," Spicer told the media, according to TIME.

Sources: Reuters, Independent, TIME / Photo credit: Amanda Hirsch/Wikimedia Commons

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