Public Skeptical of White House in Executive Privilege Claims
While there's plenty of partisan skepticism to go around on the latest challenge between Congress and the White House on subpoenas and Executive Privilege, Americans are more skeptical of the White House position than Congress. In fact, a modest plurality believes that Congress has not done enough investigating of the White House since the Democrats took control in January.
A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 43% of Americans believe Congress is legitimately trying to find information about the firing of U.S. attorneys. Thirty-two percent (32%) believe the legislators are just trying to harass the Administration.
When invoking Executive Privilege, just 30% believe the White House is truly interested in trying to protect the confidential nature of advice given the President. Forty-five percent (45%) believe the Bush Administration is trying to prevent Congress from learning information. On both questions, Republicans and Democrats line up with their team, but those not affiliated with either major party tend to side with the Democrats.
The White House has said that both Harriet Miers and Sara Taylor could be made available for private, off-the-record interviews with Congress to discuss the White House role in the firing of the U.S. attorneys. Thirty-one percent (31%) of Americans believe that is an acceptable compromise while 48% disagree. A majority of Republicans say that compromise is acceptable. A majority of Democrats and unaffiliateds disagree.
Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Americans say that there have not been enough Congressional investigations of the White House since Democrats took control. Nearly as many, 32%, say there have been too many investigations while 19% say the balance has been about right.
Fifty-five percent (55%) of Democrats say that there have not been enough investigations. Forty-eight percent (48%) of those not affiliated with either major party agree. Only 13% of Republicans hold that view.
Sixty-four percent (64%) of Republicans say there have been too many investigations. That view is shared by just 17% of Democrats and 18% of unaffiliated voters.
An earlier survey found that most voters believe that Congress has not done enough to change President Bush's policy in Iraq.
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This national telephone survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted by Rasmussen Reports July 9-10, 2007. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
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Copyright 2007 Rasmussen Reports