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.
New CNN poll finds 66 percent of Americans want Robert mueller investigation to end by midterms. What trump doesn’t… https://t.co/3S0GydxwXt— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@(((DeanObeidallah)))) 1534260183.0
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.
I'd love it if the #Mueller grand jury returned indictments against every single person who conspired with, or aide… https://t.co/BNuRogtmhL— Jo Lown 🎨🌴🌊🇺🇸 (@Jo Lown 🎨🌴🌊🇺🇸) 1534250709.0
@jilevin When did voter opinion become a valid directive for a criminal investigation.— xeyeldinTX (@xeyeldinTX) 1534247897.0
@jilevin @CNN Why take such polls? What possible good are they? Should criminal investigations be dictated by the w… https://t.co/TJ7R96Xaod— Iowa Voter (@Iowa Voter) 1534247722.0
@jilevin I'm sure he'd love to have it all finished. Unfortunately, to do a proper investigation takes time.... and… https://t.co/ej4iYthIFR— Peter Petrides (@Peter Petrides) 1534246273.0
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.
Mr. Trump... Investigation Results: 👉Whitewater=6yrs 👉Benghazi=4yrs 👉Hillary Emails=2yrs Indictments=0 Guilty Plea… https://t.co/Udrwo1PVPD— Blue Beach Song™ (@Blue Beach Song™) 1534288180.0
@realDonaldTrump If there was no collusion what are you afraid of? Why do you want the probe to end? Hillary never… https://t.co/WqEkJi1rqb— librulgal (@librulgal) 1534287742.0
@realDonaldTrump #Benghazi = 0 Indictments #ClintonEmails = 0 Indictments Clinton has been investigated for YEAR… https://t.co/lTWqOxTX7J— D∆X™ (@D∆X™) 1534275155.0
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.
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.
No, Trump is not "winning" his battle with Mueller. A new poll finds: 34% approve of Trump's handling of probe 5… https://t.co/Y8RAWqhm37— Greg Sargent (@Greg Sargent) 1534252932.0
From the new CNN poll: 57 percent say Trump knew about contacts between his campaign operatives and Russians, vs.… https://t.co/gNMEP4R6rS— Greg Sargent (@Greg Sargent) 1534268500.0
Because so many of us got it wrong in 2016, we assume Trump must be exerting some hidden, magical influence over pu… https://t.co/6xToMVTJcD— Greg Sargent (@Greg Sargent) 1534259739.0
One other tidbit in my post: Large majorities of college educated whites side with Mueller against Trump on all th… https://t.co/kltzfUIID2— Greg Sargent (@Greg Sargent) 1534253423.0
While many Americans surely hope that Mueller is finished before November, many still appear to be against Mueller ending the investigation prematurely.
@CNNPolitics Isn't this polling worded poorly? You could easily word this as "Should Mueller's investigation end be… https://t.co/6Qq8k8Dq8b— Joshua Myers (@Joshua Myers) 1534258386.0
@CNNPolitics nonsense. he needs to go until he is done. No matter how long it takes. There are a lot of witched to… https://t.co/cIS77PXTIS— christina m. brooks (@christina m. brooks) 1534258136.0
@realDonaldTrump If you hadn't colluded with the Russians, there would be no need for an investigation. It will en… https://t.co/o3gtTKbbZf— Grace Labriola (@Grace Labriola) 1534268163.0
@CNNPolitics Since when do criminal investigators do anything to appease the public? The investigation will be done… https://t.co/VFbsBhWFJI— Ada Maimer (@Ada Maimer) 1534258192.0
@ThePlumLineGS This talk of investigation polling seems irrelevant. The "people" were "with" Capone too. Didn't help him.— Vikingsrule (@Vikingsrule) 1534254549.0
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.