Politics Most expect Trump to get fair trial in Senate, new poll shows
Trump on brink of impeachment as House readies historic vote
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is on the cusp of being impeached by the House, with a historic debate set Wednesday on charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress ahead of votes that will leave a defining mark on his tenure at the White House. Trump, who would be just the third U.S. president to be impeached, on Tuesday fired off a furious letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi denouncing the “vicious crusade” against him, but he also acknowledged he was powerless to stop the expected outcome.
Seven in 10 Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll say Presidentshould allow his in a Senate trial on the against him, and six in 10 expect a fair trial in the Senate, two points of majority agreement -- across party lines -- in the otherwise divisive saga.
More than half, 55%, also say Trump was treated fairly in the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committee hearings that led to the articles of impeachment against him. But partisan divisions on this question are vast, as they are on most other impeachment issues.
House begins historic impeachment debate over President Trump – live updates
If the House votes to impeach Trump, the Senate would hold a trial, expected in January. If convicted, Trump would be removed from office.The House will debate the articles – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – for six hours and then vote separately on each of them, under parameters that the House Rules Committee recommended Tuesday. The rules for floor debate must still be adopted by the full House after an hour of debate Wednesday morning. If the House approves the articles, lawmakers will immediately take up a resolution naming managers who will serve essentially as prosecutors in the Senate trial, which is expected to begin in January.
The public continues to split essentially evenly on whether or not Trump should be impeached and removed from office, with 49% in favor, 46% opposed in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates. That’s virtually identical to the 49%-47% division in an ABC News/Washington Post poll in late October.
There’s a slightly larger margin for congressional censure of Trump, 51%-42%.
Should the House vote to impeach as expected Wednesday, 71% of Americans say Trump should allow his top aides to testify in the expected Senate trial. Notably, 64% of Republicans say so, as do 72% of independents and 79% of Democrats.
There’s also bipartisanship in the expectation that Trump will get a fair trial in the Senate: 62% of adults are very or somewhat confident of this, including approximately equal numbers of Republicans (61%), Democrats (62%) and independents (64%). Still, there’s room for doubt: only about half as many, in each of these groups, are "very" confident he’ll get a fair trial.
Mitch McConnell, Master of the Blockade, Plots Impeachment Strategy
WASHINGTON — Shattering convention, he held open a Supreme Court seat for 11 months. He twice changed Senate rules to create a record-setting assembly line of conservative federal judicial confirmations. He has been ruthless in his control of the Senate floor, denying Republicans and Democrats alike much opportunity to debate legislation. In response, Democrats have called Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, the grim reaper. He embraces the nickname with enthusiasm.Sign Up For the Morning Briefing NewsletterNow, as a showdown intensifies over President Trump’s impeachment trial, the test for Mr.
Those majority bipartisan results are in sharp contrast to views of the House hearings. While 55% say Trump was treated fairly in those hearings (a point he contests), that ranges from 87% of Democrats to 58% of independents and just 17% of Republicans.
Other results also are sharply divided, with 85% of Democrats saying Trump should be impeached and removed from office, compared with 47% of independents and 12% of Republicans – numbers that result in the overall 49%-46% split. Strength of sentiment also is evenly divided; 38% feel strongly that Trump should be impeached and removed (down 6 points); 34% strongly oppose his impeachment and removal.
There are divisions on related measures as well. Regardless of whether it was an impeachable offense, 49% think Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son; 39% think not, with the rest undecided. That’s a far cry from Trump’s position that his actions were "perfect," yet also short of a majority conclusion of impropriety.
Trump slams idea of delaying Senate impeachment trial
The morning after the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against him, President Trump slammed Democrats for a still-evolving plan to “Do Nothing with the Articles,” delaying the start of a trial in the Senate. “I got Impeached last night without one Republican vote being cast with the Do Nothing Dems on their continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history,” Trump tweeted Thursday after he became the third sitting president in U.S. history to be impeached.
Similarly, 49% say Trump tried to interfere with the impeachment investigation in a way that amounted to obstruction of Congress, one of the articles of impeachment against him. Forty-three percent don’t see obstruction of Congress.
None of those engaged in the impeachment debate get positive marks for handling it: 39% approve of how Trump has handled the impeachment inquiry in the House, with 53% disapproving. It’s 41%-52% for the Republicans in Congress and 44%-50% for the Democrats.
One additional result finds that the impeachment controversy has drawn public attention, albeit not so much as in the case of President Bill Clinton 21 years ago. Sixty-two percent of Americans say they are following the impeachment proceedings against Trump very or somewhat closely. That compares to 75% in a Gallup poll just before the House impeached Clinton on Dec. 19, 1998.
GOP Senator 'Disturbed' Mitch McConnell Coordinating Impeachment Trial with Trump, Demands 'Fair Process'
Lisa Murkowski said she was "disturbed" after hearing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was coordinating the impending impeachment trial with the White House. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Senator Lisa Murkowski talks with reporters as she heads for the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon Capitol on October 2. Murkowski, who has previously been critical of the partisan nature of the House impeachment inquiry, is now taking on McConnell and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham for both claiming there would be "total coordination" between the U.S.
Bottom-line views differed on Clinton’s case: In an ABC News/Washington Post poll in 1998, just 33% said he should be impeached and removed from office, with 64% opposed. In a June 1974 Harris poll, 52% supported impeaching and removing President Richard Nixon. This rose to 64% if Congress determined that he was involved in the Watergate cover-up.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Dec. 10-15, 2019, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,003 adults. Results have aof 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 30%-26%-43%, Democrats-Republicans-independents.
The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, New York, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by SSRS of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. See details on the survey’s methodology.
Inside the decision to impeach Trump: How both parties wrestled with a constitutional crisis .
The experience tested the will of centrist Democrats in Trump districts and caused anxiety among Republicans in their effort to defend the president.Her senior lieutenants argued for an expansive bill of charges encompassing the Mueller report. Others pressed for articles of impeachment focused solely on Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to help his reelection bid.
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