This morning's CNN poll found that 42 percent of Americans say President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office. These results place the president on par with President Richard Nixon, who 43 percent of Americans said should be impeached and removed from office in a March 1974 Harris poll.
The Harris poll was conducted after the scale of the Watergate scandal became more apparent but months before the House moved forward with impeachment proceedings. Nixon, of course, went on to resign in August 1974.
President Trump's approval rating, meanwhile, now sits at 39 percent.
Although many Americans support impeaching the president, it is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Trump is head of the Republican Party, which holds the Congressional majority. A successful impeachment effort would require a supermajority––and Congress can't get a supermajority for legislation to stop taking migrant children away from their undocumented parents at the border.
Nevertheless, Americans have continued to push for impeachment, and the Democratic Coalition reports that Congressmen have received more than 20,000 letters from citizens who responded to an action alert.
The Constitution lists impeachment as the only thing for which a president can't issue a pardon. Earlier this month, the president, who has stepped up his attacks against the special counsel in recent weeks, asserted that he has the right to pardon himself and once again stressed his belief that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference is “unconstitutional.”
The president's comments came on the heels of an interview his attorney, Rudy Giuliani gave The Huffington Post, in which he claimed that Trump hypothetically could have shot former FBI director James Comey to end the Russia investigation and not face prosecution for it while in office.
Trump’s presidential power, said Giuliani, is such that “in no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted.”
“I don’t know how you can indict while he’s in office. No matter what it is,” he added.
Giuliani noted that if the president had shot James Comey instead of firing him––as he did in May 2017––Trump would face impeachment rather than prosecution.
“If he shot James Comey, he’d be impeached the next day,” Giuliani said. “Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to do to him.”
Giuliani later claimed, in an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week,” that Trump “probably does” have the power to pardon himself should he be found guilty of obstructing justice.
“He has no intention of pardoning himself,” said Giuliani. But it is a “really interesting constitutional argument: ‘Can the president pardon himself?’”
“I think the political ramifications of that would be tough,” he continued. “Pardoning other people is one thing. Pardoning yourself is another. Other presidents have pardoned people in circumstances like this, both in their administration and sometimes the next president even of a different party will come along and pardon.”
Last week, Giuliani claimed that the Russia investigation could get “cleaned up” with pardons from President Trump in light of Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign manager, being sent to jail.
“When the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons,” Giuliani told the New York Daily News.
“I don’t understand the justification for putting him in jail,” Giuliani added. “You put a guy in jail if he’s trying to kill witnesses, not just talking to witnesses. That kind of investigation should not go forward. It’s time for Justice to investigate the investigators.”
The president came to Manafort's defense, saying Manafort faces a “tough sentence.”
“Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob,” he added.
The CNN poll comes at the same time as a new Reuters/Ipsos poll which shows that most Americans believe President Trump should agree to an interview with Robert Mueller.
According to Reuter's poll, which surveyed 3,532 adults across the United States online and in English from June 9-18 and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points:
- 60 percent of adults believe the president should agree to a sitdown with Mueller to answer questions related to whether he or his associates colluded with Russian operatives to win the 2016 presidential election.
- 50 percent of registered Republicans believe the president should not agree to a sitdown with Mueller. More than 1 and 3, however, say he should. 83 percent of registered Democrats say the president should agree to an interview with Mueller.