Despite Jeff Sessions’ surprising insistence during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee earlier this week that there’s “no factual basis” to appoint a special counsel to investigate actions by Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, a plurality of voters believe special prosecutors should be investigating both the Clinton and Trump campaigns, according to a recent study that was shared with the Hill.
The latest Harvard CAPS/Harris survey found that 44 percent of voters surveyed said a special counsel is needed to investigate both campaigns, meanwhile twenty-seven percent said only Trump needs to be investigated, while 21 percent said only Clinton needs to be investigated and nine percent said neither should be investigated.
The poll’s findings also showed that the number of voters who believe Special Counsel Mueller has found hard evidence of collusion is a paltry 38 percent, while 36 percent say there is no hard evidence yet and 27 percent saying they don’t know.
Unsurprisingly, the survey concluded that the public believes the Mueller investigation is hurting American democracy more than it is helping by implying that powerful, politically-connected Democrats who have the implicit support of the FBI and Deep State intelligence apparatus are immune to prosecution, while an outsider like Trump is not.
“The public thinks these investigations are hurting rather than helping our democracy but if there are going to be investigations, overwhelming majorities support investigating the Clintons - over two-thirds would investigate either both campaigns or just Hillary’s campaign,” said Harvard CAPS/Harris co-director Mark Penn.
Despite repeated calls from prominent Republican lawmakers to appoint a special counsel to investigate Comey and the Clintons, Sessions has so far been reluctant to do so, even after a letter leaked earlier this week revealed that the AG asked a team of prosecutors to look into it.
Several Congressional investigations were launched in September and October following reports that the Clinton campaign and DNC helped finance the infamous “Trump dossier” and that the FBI had failed to inform Congress about an investigation surrounding corruption related to the 2010 Uranium One deal - where then Secretary of State Clinton voted to approve a deal that ceded 20% of US uranium reserves to Russia’s state-owned nuclear agency.
Voters are suspicious of Clinton’s role in helping create the dossier, which the FBI used to help justify launching an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians that later morphed into the Mueller probe. Many of the claims in the dossier have not been verified, and there’s some evidence the FBI knew that at the time it launched the probe.
Sixty-six percent of voters say the dossier is less credible because of the Democrats’ involvement and 58 percent say it cannot be relied upon for information.
In addition, 65 percent of voters say there should be an investigation into the $145 million contribution the Clinton Foundation received from the owners of Uranium One, a Canadian firm that was sold to Russian investors when Hillary Clinton was secretary of State.
Meanwhile, voters are conflicted over Mueller. Thirty-three percent view him favorably, while 31 percent have an unfavorable view of him. A solid 54 percent say his professional relationship and friendship with Comey - believed to be a key witness in the probe - represents a conflict of interest.
“Mueller is seen as having a significant conflict of interest — one large enough to typically disqualify a special counsel," Penn said.