— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 6, 2017
With Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ formal recusal from any possible investigations into Donald Trump and his staff’s alleged Russian ties, Congress has all the leverage it needs to demand a special prosecutor. Many of the White House’s most stringent critics have been calling for an investigation — including Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (California), whose demand for a special prosecutor in late February suggested the political tide may be turning against Trump. But what does the American public think about all of this?
According to the latest CNN/ORC polls out Monday, a sizable percentage of Americans are concerned about the allegations claiming inappropriate connections exist between the Trump White House and Russia. Specifically, 37 percent of those polled are “very” worried about intelligence reports purporting some kind of connection between Russia and Trump. Another 18 percent said they were “somewhat” concerned, whereas 17 and 28 percent stated they were “not too much” and “not at all” worried about the matter. Per CNN’s David Chalian, “partisanship is driving” the poll’s numbers — with most Republicans expressing little to no concern about the supposed Russian scandal — but the majority tally still stands.
As for the special prosecutor, an even greater number of those polled believe Congress should appoint an attorney from outside the federal government to investigate. (Just as Ken Starr served as independent counsel during the investigation into President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and related matters.) Republicans (43 percent), Democrats (82 percent) and Independents (67 percent) believe a special prosecutor is necessary, bringing the average to a whopping 65 percent. Again, Chalian cautioned the poll’s partisan nature includes Republicans’ assertion that Congress itself can handle the matter, but stressed 43 percent was still telling.
Despite these numbers, however, the CNN/ORC poll determined support for Trump among his more ardent Republican base remains unchanged. 45 percent believe the president is doing well on the job. 45 percent also claim they possess a favorable view of Trump. These numbers haven’t changed too much since polls conducted in January and February — despite their historically low results for Trump’s standing in light of past presidential transitions.