Trump up and down: Most Americans say the ex-president’s prosecution in NYC is ‘politically motivated’ – but MORE say the porn star’s hush money claim is ‘credible’
- Americans, as always, are divided over their feelings for former President Donald Trump
- More than half call the prosecution political, even more saying it’s credible
- The investigation comes as a grand jury in Manhattan considers whether to indict Trump
Americans, as always, are divided over their feelings for former President Donald Trump, who was awaiting charges this week over his alleged hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
There is good news and bad news for the Republican, Ipsos pollsters found — 54 percent of respondents agree with Trump that politics drove the criminal suit brought by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg.
That includes 80 percent of his fellow Republicans and 32 percent of Democrats.
Still, an even higher proportion — 70 percent of those polled — said it was “credible” that during his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump paid Daniels, an adult film actress, for her silence over an alleged sexual encounter.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents, including one-third of Republicans, said it was also credible that Trump falsified business records and committed fraud.
A majority of Americans say the New York allegations against Donald Trump are both “credible” and “politically motivated.”
A supporter of former President Donald Trump debates outside Trump Tower in New York as a grand jury weighs an indictment. Americans are divided over the prosecution
The survey of more than 1,000 American adults provides a snapshot of the American public’s attitude to the allegations as the case was weighed by a Manhattan grand jury.
The findings underscore the unprecedented nature of the criminal investigations surrounding Trump as he seeks the Republican nomination to run for the White House again in 2024.
The Manhattan District Attorney is investigating whether Trump broke any laws when the Trump Organization reimbursed then-lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels, which was recorded as a business expense.
Trump, who faces potentially fierce competition in his third bid for the Republican nomination, has denied ever having an extramarital affair with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
He said on Saturday he expected to be arrested on Tuesday and has asked his supporters to respond by donating money to his presidential campaign.
That deadline has since passed, and the Manhattan grand jury is considering whether to indict him, though that hearing appeared to have a problem on Wednesday, as proceedings were canceled for that day.
Republican Party officials, strategists and analysts have said prosecuting Trump would only harden the resolve of his staunchest supporters.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential rival for the Republican nomination, has criticized what he called the politicization of the Manhattan district attorney’s office, but has also made a veiled swipe at Trump.
Trump responded aggressively with an innuendo-filled post on his Truth Social platform.
About nine in 10 respondents said they had heard about Manhattan prosecutors’ case against Trump, one of several investigations haunting Trump. A Georgia prosecutor is considering allegations that Trump tried to reverse his 2020 election defeat.
Trump falsely claims his loss to Democratic President Joe Biden was due to fraud and was recorded asking Georgia election officials to find the votes Trump needed to win.
Trump also faces investigations from the US Justice Department into his retention of classified documents after leaving the White House and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
About 54 percent of respondents — including 85 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Republicans — said the allegation that Trump solicited election fraud was credible.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll collected responses from 1,003 adults nationwide, including 415 self-described Democrats and 383 Republicans. The poll had a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 4-6 percentage points in either direction.
Trump has denied ever having an extramarital affair with adult actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.