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More Poll Numbers Released on Public Opinion on Mueller Investigation, But Investigations Are About Evidence Not Popularity

A CNN Poll conducted by SSRS shows 66 percent of Americans believe Robert Mueller should try to conclude his investigation into the possible conspiracy between the Russian government and the Trump campaign before the crucial 2018 midterm elections. But is this a question that should even be asked?

While the majority of Americans may want the investigation to conclude before November, only 37 percent disapprove of the investigation, reinforcing that wanting the investigation to end doesn't necessarily translate as a lack of support for it.


This led Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah to speculate that in addition to the Americans echoing President Donald Trump's and his head lawyer Rudy Giuliani's calls for the investigation to end, that 66 percent may include Americans wanting the probe come to end because they believe it will inevitably lead to an indictment of the president.

But others make a more important point about any poll regarding the Russia investigation being conducted by the Justice Department's designated Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.

When it comes to federal investigations and Justice Department matters, public opinion should be irrelevant. Criminal investigations depend only on evidence and leads, not popularity.

What's more, higher percentages favoring the investigation ending may be due to the inequity in public comments on the case. While Trump, Giuliani and the rest of the President's  legal team and administration loudly and publicly decry the investigation as a witch hunt, Special Counsel Robert Mueller plays his cards extremely close to his chest, as his years as a combat Marine and in the FBI taught him.

Others point out that the Whitewater investigation involving President Bill Clinton, the Benghazi investigation of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the private email server investigation of Secretary Clinton each lasted years. Yet neither of the Clintons or Obama maintained a constant chorus in the press and social media calling the investigations witch hunts or demanding they end.

All three and their administrations knew an investigation must run its full course.

And while increased calls for the investigation to conclude will almost certainly buoy the Trump camp, the poll altogether spells bad tidings for the Trump administration as CNN Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza points out.

Cillizza stated while those on all sides of the aisle hope for an end to the probe by November 6, Trump is ultimately losing the propaganda war regarding Russia in the court of public opinion.

Cillizza wrote:

 if you look at any question in the CNN poll -- other than the one about when people want the probe to end -- and you see piece after piece of evidence that Trump is losing the public relations war on Russia."

He is certainly right on that account.

In addition to the majority of Americans' approval of the investigation, 55 percent disapprove of Trump's handling of it. 56 percent believe his claims regarding the information are false and another 56 percent believe Trump actively tried to interfere with the investigation.

Most damning for the 2018 midterms, 80 percent of Democrats say the Russia investigation will play an important part in their vote on November 6.

Cillizza was not the only one to point this out.

While many Americans surely hope that Mueller is finished before November, many still appear to be against Mueller ending the investigation prematurely.

While the findings may give Trump and his counsel another talking point, the rest of the poll indicates that Americans simply will not be buying it.