New Poll Finds Trust in Robert Mueller Has Eroded and Half of Americans Believe Trump is Victim of Political ‘Witch Hunt’

President Donald Trump has been relentless in attacking Robert Mueller’s investigation. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Amid signs that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference may be near its conclusion, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds that trust in Mueller has eroded and half of Americans agree with President Donald Trump’s contention that he has been the victim of a “witch hunt.”

Support for the House of Representatives to seriously consider impeaching the president has dropped since last October by 10 percentage points, to 28 percent.

Despite that, the survey shows a nation that remains skeptical of Trump’s honesty and deeply divided by his leadership. A 52 percent majority say they have little or no trust in the president’s denials that his 2016 campaign colluded with Moscow in the election that put him in the Oval Office.

That number does reflect an improvement from previous polls. One year ago, 57 percent had little or no trust in his denials; in December, 59 percent did.

Twenty-eight percent say they have a lot of trust in former FBI director Mueller’s investigation to be fair and accurate. That’s the lowest level to date and down 5 points since December.

In comparison, 30 percent express a lot of trust in Trump’s denials, the highest to date.

Mueller indicted 34 people, including Russian intelligence operatives and some of Trump’s closest aides and advisers. The indictments detailed the eagerness of the Trump campaign to benefit from a sophisticated Russian effort to influence the 2016 election but have not accused the president’s aides of participating in that operation. Last week, Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was sentenced to a total of 7.5 years in federal prison for financial crimes.

The poll’s findings set the stage for a ferocious partisan battle when Mueller submits his report to Attorney General William Barr. The president’s cascade of criticism of those pursuing him has fortified his support and raised questions about his investigators.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Susan Page and Deborah Barfield Berry