Pew: Majority of Republicans Now Say Mueller Investigation Was Fair

On the eve of former special counsel Robert Mueller's made-for-TV hearings before a pair of House committees Wednesday (July 24), a new poll finds that the majority of Republicans say they are confident his investigation into Russian election interference was fair.

The President has called it a witch hunt and suggested it was a partisan attempt to undermine his presidency.

According to the Pew Research poll, six in 10 Republicans now said they believe the investigation was fair, up from just four in 10 in January, before the report was released.

That report found insufficient evidence of collusion by the Trump Administration but declined to weigh in on whether the President obstructed the investigation, an indictable offense, pointing out that the Justice Department, to which Mueller reported, has said a sitting President can't be indicted anyway.

Among Republicans who have "heard a lot" about the investigation, the confidence number was even higher at 62%, more than double the 29% who said that in January.

Looking at the entire survey, the confidence in the Mueller report was at 65%, up from 55% in January.

And while the President has dismissed the investigation, 81% of Republicans say they are "very or somewhat confident" his administration is making "a serious effort" to prevent future interference. Only 15% of Democrats say so.

The survey was conducted July 10 among 1,502 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.

In a move that fueled Democratic efforts to further investigate the President, and their desire to hold hearings with Mueller, the then special counsel back in May made it clear that his report on Russian, and potential Trump Administration, election meddling did not clear the President of the obstruction of justice charge. Instead, he said, it did not pursue that conclusion, one way of the other, because it was foreclosed by Justice Department policy. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.