It’s unlikely that the Republican-controlled Senate will take into much consideration polling data that examines how Americans feel about the impeachment trial that’s set to start this week.
But on the day before opening arguments are set to begin, a majority of Americans say Trump’s impeachment was well-deserved — and what’s more, he should be removed from office.
A CNN/SSRS poll, which questioned American voters between the dates of January 16 to 19, found that 51 percent of the citizenry wants Trump indicted and removed from office in the Senate trial. Forty-five percent of Americans say he shouldn’t be found guilty by the Senate.
Those numbers are somewhat close together, and demonstrate a tight divide in Americans’ opinions on Trump’s Senate impeachment trial. But when the poll looked at the specific charges against the president, the divide widened.
When asked whether it was true or false that Trump committed an abuse of his power in asking Ukraine to investigate a political rival on his behalf (using military aid to Kyiv as leverage to get them to do so), 58 percent of Americans said that was a true statement. Just 41 percent of Americans said it was false.
On the charges of obstructing Congress from conducting its investigation into the matter, 57 percent stated it was “true” that Trump acted in that way, with 39 percent saying it was false.
Americans overall also want the Senate to allow additional witnesses in the impeachment trial, with close to 7-in-10 saying as much, and only 26 percent saying more witnesses shouldn’t be allowed.
Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69 percent) say that upcoming trial should feature testimony from new witnesses who did not testify in the House impeachment inquiry.
(Interviews were conducted January 16-19 by telephone with 1,156 adult Americans.)https://t.co/E0xUZ0eKCL
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 20, 2020
On that matter, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said he will force a vote to see if enough wayward Republicans will agree for the need to allow more witnesses to be heard.
“We have the right to do it, we are going to do it and we are going to do it at the beginning on Tuesday if leader McConnell doesn’t call for these witnesses in his proposal,” Schumer said on Sunday
By seeing this poll, on the eve of opening arguments on impeachment — and perhaps sensing their own re-election chances if they vote against more witnesses — it’s possible that at least three Republicans will join with Democratic senators to vote for the measure. If that happens, no procedural rule from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can prevent it from happening.
Trump’s lawyers filed a brief calling for the immediate dismissal of all impeachment charges against him.
The articles of impeachment “do not remotely approach the constitutional threshold for removing a president from office,” his legal team argued, according to the New York Times.