As Dems Push for Probe, Majority of Americans Support Call for Special Prosecutor
New poll shows widespread support for independent prosecutor to operate probe into Trump team's Russia ties
A majority of Americans want a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russia, according to a new poll (pdf) out Monday.
The poll by CNN/ORC finds that about two-thirds of Americans support that call, and 55 percent say they are at least somewhat concerned by reports that President Donald Trump's team communicated with the Russian government during the 2016 election.
Only 32 percent said Congress would be capable of handling the investigation itself.
The results are closely tied to political party, with 71 percent of Democrats saying they are "very concerned" about the reports of the Trump team's communication with the Russians, and 54 percent of Republicans saying they have no concerns "at all" on that subject.
The poll comes as congressional lawmakers intensify their calls for an independent investigation into Russia's alleged involvement in the election.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Sunday he would block the nominee for deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, unless he committed to appointing a special prosecutor.
"I'll use every possible tool to block DOJ deputy AG nominee unless he commits to appoint independent special prosecutor," Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted Sunday.
I'll use every possible tool to block DOJ Deputy AG nominee unless he commits to appoint independent special prosecutor— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) March 5, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation last week after it was revealed he had lied to Congress about his own communication with the Russian government, opening up the possibility that other members of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) would operate the probe.
With Rosenstein being at the top of the list, the increased scrutiny comes just in time for his confirmation hearing, scheduled for Tuesday morning at 10:00am, where he is likely to face questions on the Russia investigation from Blumenthal and fellow Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Al Franken (Minn.), and Dick Durbin (Ill.).