Poll: Most say congressional GOP should let Trump probes run their course
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Americans by and large don’t want Republicans in Congress interfering with law enforcement’s investigations into former President Donald Trump. But that’s different for a majority of rank-and-file Republicans, in particular MAGA Republicans, who do want their representatives to try to stop them.
And that comes as rank-and-file Republicans express more desire for party loyalty to Trump than they did earlier this year, back before he was indicted.
By two to one, Americans would prefer congressional Republicans to let the law enforcement investigations into Trump run their course, rather than try to stop them.
Differing sharply from the rest of the country, a 56% majority of Republicans say Republicans in Congress should try to stop these law enforcement investigations — a view driven by those who consider themselves part of the MAGA movement. That helps define a split within the party. It’s notable that over four in 10 Republicans disagree, preferring the investigations run their course.
At the same time, Republicans’ general desire for loyalty to Trump has risen. About three in four say it’s at least somewhat important to them that Republicans be loyal to Trump. That’s an 11-point jump since January.
While MAGA Republicans are much likelier to view loyalty as “very important,” even non-MAGA Republicans have shifted — among the latter group, the percentage calling it at least somewhat important has grown by 10 points (from 55% in January to 65% now).
Zooming back out to the country overall, most Americans think at least some of the allegations against Trump are serious enough to charge him if there’s sufficient evidence. On the charges against him in New York City — described as “falsifying business records to hide payments about alleged affairs and election law violations” — 57% say it’s serious enough to bring charges.
Similarly sized majorities say the same about two other allegations he is under investigation for: mishandling of classified documents after he left office, and attempting to overturn the election in 2020. The country is more divided on whether or not paying enough taxes is serious enough to charge, even if there were enough evidence to prove it.
While the partisan splits on these issues are predictable, with Democrats and liberals much more inclined to seek charges, not all Republicans are minimizing these allegations. In fact, about half of Republicans say at least one of the four tested is serious enough to bring charges with sufficient evidence.
The country is more divided over what the New York indictment earlier this month means to them. A slim majority say it means that no one is above the law, not even a former president, but nearly as many say it means the legal system has become too political instead.
Independents split nearly evenly on this question, with their views depending on how serious they consider the allegations of falsifying business records.
And it is Republicans who are likeliest to say there was too much coverage of the indictment in the news media. Half of independents agree.
This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,065 U.S. adult residents interviewed between April 12-14, 2023. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as the 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±3.2 points.