Trump SHOULD be criminally charged, nearly 50% of US voters say in new poll: Adam Schiff warns DOJ it would be making a ‘political decision’ if it fails to investigate ex-president over January 6
- 46% of respondents to a new poll said the January 6 committee should recommend Donald Trump for criminal charges over the Capitol riot
- Half US voters think he tried to stay in office using illegal means, survey suggests
- However 53% also admitted to paying ‘not much’ attention or ‘none at all’ to the House January 6 committee’s ongoing bombshell hearings
- Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff suggested on NBC’s Meet the Press that he’s disappointed the Justice Department has yet to go after Trump
- It comes after the DOJ sent subpoenas to multiple Trump allies allegedly involved in a scheme to send fake Electoral College votes in the 2020 race
The latest survey from CBS News suggests that a plurality of Americans think Trump was directly involved in a criminal plot to undermine US democracy, though Congress’ bombshell Capitol riot hearings may not be having the outsized effect they intended to.
It comes as Rep. Adam Schiff, one of the January 6 panel’s seven Democrats, warned the Justice Department that failing to at least investigate the ex-president would be seen as a ‘political’ decision that would show he is above the law.
‘The fact is, if you follow the evidence where it leads, if you believe that you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, then you have a duty to prosecute,’ Schiff said on NBC News’ Meet the Press.
‘And the decision not to investigate or not to prosecute becomes a political decision that, well, this person is immune from the rule of law.’
Over the last few weeks, the committee has sought to characterize last year’s Capitol attack as Trump and his allies’ ‘last stand’ in a wider plot to steal the 2020 presidential election.
Hours of live and videotaped witness testimony have painted a picture of White House advisers and other elected officials intent on a peaceful transfer of power fighting against a faction of pro-Trump lawmakers, lawyers and the ex-president himself who spread doubt about the election despite knowing Trump lost and attempts to take down anyone who stood in their way.
Nearly half of all US voters polled by CBS News think Donald Trump’s actions on and around January 6 warrant criminal charges
Despite a plurality of respondents admitting to only listening to ‘some’ of the January 6 hearings, 50% said what they’ve heard makes it seem like Trump tried to stay in office ‘through illegal means’
‘The president didn’t care. What he wanted them to do was just say it was corrupt,’ Schiff said.
The committee’s last two expected hearings, meant to be this week, were delayed until July after it was revealed they have a trove of evidence to review from British filmmaker Alex Holder, who interviewed Trump and his family for a documentary series on the final months of the Republican’s presidency.
Despite that, however, Americans appear to be following the roadmap being laid out by the committee toward Trump’s culpability.
Fifty percent of respondents to CBS News’ poll, taken between June 22 and 24, said he tried to ‘stay in office through illegal means.’
That’s compared to 30 percent who said Trump planned to do it ‘through legal means’ and just 20 percent who do not believe the ex-president intended to stay in office.
When asked whether the January 6 committee should make recommendations on Trump’s fate, 46 percent said ‘Trump should be charged with crimes’ and 31 percent believe the committee should advise against it.
Less than a quarter – 23 percent – said the panel should not make any recommendation at all.
Meanwhile committee member Rep. Adam Schiff is continuing to pressure the Justice Department to focus its efforts on investigating the ex-president
But when it comes to watching the proceedings, less than one-fifth of voters said they were paying significant attention.
Just 18 percent of Americans said they were spending ‘a lot’ of time watching the hearings.
A 30-percent plurality said they were paying ‘some’ attention to them, and 53 percent of respondents admitted to paying ‘not much’ attention or ‘none at all.’
But throughout the hearings the committee has made clear that its audience is Attorney General Merrick Garland as much as it is the American public.
Garland has made clear that he is following along with the panel’s presentation, and over the last week his department has ramped up its public efforts to go after those who helped Trump attempt to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.
The DOJ has subpoenaed at least nine people across multiple states who were accused of helping Trump’s alleged ‘fake electors’ scheme to alter Electoral College votes in his favor.
Trump’s efforts to undermine American democracy are at the heart of the committee’s June hearings
The panel has claimed that the riot itself was not an unintended consequence but rather the ‘last stand’ of Trump and his allies
Federal agents also recently raided the home of former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, a lower-level bureaucrat that Trump attempted to elevate so Clark would then weaponize the department for the ex-president’s plot.
‘It certainly seems that there’s a greater sense of urgency than I’ve seen before. At the same time, I have yet to see any indication that the former president himself is under investigation,’ Schiff said on Sunday.
The California Democrat admitted it would be a ‘very difficult decision’ to actually prosecute Trump, but added: ‘It’s not a difficult decision to investigate when there’s evidence before you.’
‘And I think the worst-case scenario is not that Donald Trump runs and wins, but that he runs and loses and they overturn the election,’ he said.
‘Because there’s no deterrent, because there’s no effort to push back and to hold people accountable.’