A Washington Post-ABC survey released Friday indicates that a majority of U.S. adults believe President Trump bears at least some responsibility for the protests that unfurled at the U.S. Capitol last week, and a majority also support efforts to “remove” the president, even though the Senate would not be able to convict and remove him prior to Inauguration Day, per Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) timeline.
The vast majority of those surveyed, 80 percent, said they “strongly” oppose the actions of the individuals who stormed the Capitol as Congress gathered to certify the electoral votes on January 6, with only eight percent expressing some level of support.
Like many politicians, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), a majority of respondents believe Trump bears at least some responsibility for the attack. Of those surveyed, 45 said he bears a “great deal” of responsibility,” followed by 14 percent who said “just some” and 12 percent who said a “good amount.” More than a quarter, 28 percent, said he bears no responsibility.
The survey then asked if Trump should be charged with inciting a riot, wording the question thusly: “As you may know, Trump encouraged his supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol, where a riot followed. Do you think Trump should be charged with the crime of inciting a riot, or do you think he should not be charged?”
Fifty-four percent said he should be charged, 43 percent said he should not, and three percent expressed no opinion.
The survey also asked respondents if they believe Congress “should or should not remove Trump from office and disqualify him from holding elected office in the future.” However, even if the Senate voted to convict Trump following Wednesday’s House impeachment vote, Congress would not be able to “remove” Trump from office, as the trial would likely not take place until after January 20 — the day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Despite that omission, 56 percent said Congress should remove Trump from office and disqualify him. Forty-two percent said he should not be removed from office:
On the impeachment question, both NBC and ABC-Washington Post polls asked respondents whether they approved impeaching and removing Trump from office, without mentioning that in real life, Trump will not be in office to be 'removed.' pic.twitter.com/s5PmiijpxN
— Byron York (@ByronYork) January 15, 2021
The House voted to impeach President Trump on Wednesday, with ten Republicans joining Democrats. McConnell circulated a timeline last week, explaining that proceedings in the Senate would not truly begin until after Trump leaves office.
A McConnell spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that the upper chamber will not convene early, making January 19 the earliest date the proceedings could begin. In other words, the trial would take place in the early weeks of Biden’s term.
McConnell confirmed this week he still has not decided if he would vote to convict the president, noting that he intends “to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”
The survey, taken January 10-13 among 1,002 adults, has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percent.