By Chris Baynes, The Independent
Posted March 12th 2019
(PHOTO: MICHAEL COHEN CONGRESSIONAL HOUSE HEARING)
Almost two-thirds of Americans believe Donald Trump committed crimes before he was elected, a poll has found.
Forty-five per cent of US voters think the president has even broken the law since entering the White House, compared to 43 per cent who do not, according to Quinnipiac University’s survey.
Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll, said the results “deliver a double-barrelled gut punch” to Mr Trump’s integrity.
The research also found Americans believe Mr Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen – who is headed to jail for fraud, tax evasion and lying to congress – is more honest than the president.
Half of voters said they believed Cohen’s allegations about Mr Trump’s “unethical and illegal behaviour,” compared to 35 per cent who thought the president’s denials were true.
Cohen has claimed Mr Trump took part in a criminal conspiracy to cover up extramarital affairs during his election campaign, and has also accused him of “lies, racism and cheating” during explosive congressional testimony last week.
Sixty-four per cent of Americans believe the president committed crimes before he was elected in November 2016, found the Quinnipiac poll, compared to 24 per cent who said he did not.
“When two-thirds of voters think you have committed a crime in your past life, and almost half of voters say it’s a tossup over whether you committed a crime while in the Oval Office, confidence in your overall integrity is very shaky,” Mr Malloy said.
“Add to that, Michael Cohen, a known liar headed to the big house, has more credibility than the leader of the free world.”
The poll found a third of Republicans believed Mr Trump had committed crimes before becoming president, while 48 per cent thought he had not.
Respondents of every other party surveyed, as well as every gender, education, age and racial group, said by wide margins that Mr Trump was a criminal.
Doubts about Mr Trump’s integrity did not extend to calls for him to be removed from office; only 35 per cent felt he should be impeached, compared to 59 per cent who said he should not be.
Voters gave the president negative 38-55 per cent job approval rating, a deterioration from 38-57 per cent in a Quinnipiac poll in January.
The new survey was completed by 1,120 voters nationwide between 1 and 4 March.