Jun 12, 2019

Poll: Majority of Republicans oppose ban on indicting a sitting president

President Trump in Oval Office. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

69% of American voters believe a sitting president should be subject to criminal charges, including 52% of Republicans, according to a Quinnipiac national poll that surveyed 1,214 people.

Yes, but: Just 16% of Republicans believe Trump committed crimes before he was in office, and 5% of Republicans believe he has done so while president.

Why it matters: The findings run counter to a controversial Justice Department's policy that contends a sitting president cannot be indicted for fear that "a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President's capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct."

  • Worth noting: Support for being able to indict a sitting president is down from 71% in Quinnipiac's December 2018 poll.

Other highlights: The phone survey, conducted from June 6-10, found that the majority of the public still does not support impeaching President Trump.

  • 44% of voters believe that Trump deserves to be impeached. However, just 33% of voters and 62% of Democrats support Congress beginning the process of impeachment.
  • 57% overall believe Trump committed crimes before he took office. Voters are evenly split, 45% for and 45% against, on whether Trump committed crimes while he has been president.
  • 55% of voters believe Attorney General Bill Barr did not accurately represent the conclusions of the Mueller report to the American public. 35% of voters believe the Mueller report cleared Trump of any wrongdoing.

The big picture: Though the Constitution explains that a president can be removed from office due to "high crimes and misdemeanors," the document is silent on whether a president can face criminal prosecution in court. The Supreme Court has also not directly answered the question.

Methodology: From June 6 - 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,214 voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points, including the design effect.

Go deeper: Over 650 former prosecutors say Trump would be indicted if he weren't president

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Biden rolls out new policies in effort to court Sanders supporters

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The Biden campaign announced two new policies on Thursday on health care and student debt that are squarely aimed at appealing to supporters of Bernie Sanders, who ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The policies don't go as far as Sanders' platform, but they signal that Biden is serious about incorporating elements of his former rival's agenda in an effort to help unify the Democratic Party and defeat President Trump in the general election.

Reports: Saudi Arabia and Russia reach major deal to cut oil production

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OPEC+, led by mega-producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, reached a tentative agreement Thursday to impose large cuts in oil production as the coronavirus pandemic fuels an unprecedented collapse in demand, per Bloomberg and Reuters.

Why it matters: The revival of the OPEC+ collaboration patches up the early March rupture between the countries, which had pushed already depressed prices down much further by threatening to unleash even more new supplies into the saturated market.