Americans’ confidence in special counselor Robert Mueller’s investigation is at an all-time low according to a new Washington Post / ABC poll. Though confidence in Mueller or President Trump is split along party lines, the poll bears more weight because it comes from the Trump hating Washington Post newspaper, where it figures that more of its readers come from an anti-Trump position.
According to the poll: Half of Americans report they have “just some” confidence or none at all that the Mueller report will be fair and evenhanded, and 43 percent say they have at least a good amount of confidence in its fairness.
Almost a third (32 percent) of Democrats and 70 percent of Republicans expressed little or no confidence that Mueller is acting fairly or will produce any real results. Confidence in Mueller among independents has been eroding for some time. Over half of what we often call “swing voters” side with Republicans in their distrust of Mueller’s ability to deliver a fair report.
Special Counsels have a well-documented history of wearing the public’s patience thin with prolonged investigations that seem more self-serving than anything.
During his reign as special counsel in 1998, Independent Prosecutor Ken Starr got an indictment against Bill Clinton. Clinton’s actions and denial of culpability disgusted most voters, but they were even wearier of Starr’s perceived overreach. The net result for all the buzz about Clinton was a financial hit for the former president and a few years without his law license.
The Mueller investigation has several similarities to Starr’s with a few glaring differences. With Bill Clinton, the media was on his side and did everything it could to paint him as a victim of political hacks. The same can’t be said 20 years later with the mainstream media solidly on Muller’s side and determined to portray Trump as guilty of something – anything.
Though the WaPo/ABC poll was taken before Roger Stone’s movie set arrest it came well after Michael Cohen claimed that Trump ordered him to lie to Congress.
The fall in the opinion of Mueller mirrors the public’s approval of Democrats pursuing impeachment of the President. Last August, there was a narrow plurality (49/46) that favored impeachment proceedings. That has shifted dramatically since from +3 to -15 in favor of impeachment.
The fall in Mueller’s support from independents and centrist Democrats is likely due to his string of indictments for what has been dubbed “process crimes” as opposed to anything to do with Russian collusion—the single indictment for what he was commissioned to do.
Mueller’s one banner conviction came for Paul Manafort’s alleged crimes that were from well before his association with the President. As Ed Morrissey of Hotair.com writes: “After nearly two years, Americans want to, ahem, MoveOn and get back to business.”
Americans have not regained confidence in the FBI since the firing of former Director James Comey. Over sixty-three percent of polled voters now say the Bureau had been stonewalling Congress by refusing to provide information about the both the Trump and Hillary Clinton investigations.
A Harvard CAPS / Harris Poll shows that over half of those surveyed believe conflicts of interest are preventing Mueller from being unbiased. Response to that poll by the special counsel’s office is deafening.
Both polls show that there is a definite crisis of confidence for both Mueller and the FBI. More telling is that, even among those who don’t like Trump, approval for the special counsel and the Bureau is worse.
The Harvard CAPS / Harris Poll came before news that disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok and his lover Lisa Page, both high-ranking members of Mueller task force, discussed an “insurance policy” in the eventuality that Trump won the election. One can only guess what those polling numbers would have been had they come after that revelation.
The polls reflect the daily trickle of proof that there is still an anti-Trump bias among political elites in Washington. Add to that increasing evidence that the FBI was complicit if not the designer of the Steele dossier that started this whole Muller investigation.
It may have seemed far-fetched a few months ago that government officials devised a scheme to entrap a sitting President, but that is looking more and more plausible every day.
Add to this the fact that most Americans see the treatment of Trump aides as far harsher than occurred with Clinton’s aides, caught in obvious lies, it’s no wonder even the Washington Post can’t pretend the obvious does not exist.
Collusion did happen – just not with President Trump.