A majority of Americans think a special prosecutor would be best suited to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections to the campaign of President Donald Trump, according to a poll released Sunday.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, conducted in the days after Trump’s abrupt dismissal of FBI director James Comey, surveyed 800 men and women between May 11 and May 13. Of those interviewed, 40 percent identified themselves as voters who cast ballots for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton last year while 37 percent said they voted for Trump.
An overwhelming majority of the people polled – 78 percent – said they wanted to see a special prosecutor appointed to investigate Russian meddling in November’s election.
Federal officials have said there is evidence that Russia influenced the presidential election in support of Trump, although it remains unclear whether the president or his staff worked with foreign agents to win the election. Authorities have said there is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
The FBI and several other groups and congressional committees have confirmed that they are investigating the situation. Trump said last week in an interview with NBC News that the investigation was on his mind when he decided to fire Comey on Tuesday, prompting lawmakers to call for a special prosecutor.
In the NBC News/WSJ poll, 15 percent of respondents said Congress would be best positioned to investigate Russian interference. Three percent said neither Congress nor a special prosecutor would serve best, while 4 percent said they were not sure.
The responses echo those given to researchers last month in a related poll cited by researchers in the poll released Sunday. In April, 73 percent of respondents said an independent, nonpartisan commission should lead the Russia probe. Sixteen percent of those surveyed preferred Congress to head the investigation.