An increasing number of U.S. voters agree with President Donald Trump’s criticism of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into allegations of a Trump-Russia collusion as a partisan witch hunt, a poll by Rasmussen reported on Friday. “Forty per cent now consider Mueller’s probe a partisan witch hunt, an eight-point increase from 32 per cent in the earlier survey,’’ a press release summarising the poll stated.
According to published reports, the release attributed the shift in voters’ attitudes to FBI raids on Monday of the home and offices of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, reportedly due to a tip provided by Mueller. “Forty-six per cent of likely U.S. voters still consider Muller’s investigation an honest attempt to determine criminal wrongdoing, down six points from 52 per cent in October,’’ the release said. Mueller reportedly requested the raids, even though the action was not part of his mandate to investigate allegations of collusion between Russia and Trump aides during the 2016 campaign and subsequent transition. Russia has repeatedly denied any collusion occurred, and Trump has been especially outspoken, often using the term “witch hunt” to describe the Mueller probe as politically motivated. Trump’s disdain for the excesses of the investigation has prompted speculation that the U.S. president wants to fire Mueller and calls by Democrats in Congress for a law that would prevent Trump from doing so.