Sixty-four percent of American voters believe that Trump committed crimes before he became president, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday. Only 24 percent say he didn’t, and 13 percent weren’t sure. The survey was conducted after Cohen testified before Congress that Trump directed him to lie about hush money paid to Trump’s mistresses before the 2016 election.
As to whether Trump has committed crimes while in office, 45 percent of Americans said yes; 43 percent said he hadn’t.
During Cohen’s Feb. 27 testimony, he called Trump a racist and a con man, and detailed the hush-money payments. The president’s former fixer claimed that Trump had artificially inflated his assets to get bank loans, then deflated them to save on taxes. Trump has denied the allegations.
Fifty percent of respondents said they believed Cohen; 33 percent said they believed Trump. Forty-four percent said that Cohen told the truth; 36 percent said he didn’t.
“When two-thirds of voters think you have committed a crime in your past life, and almost half of voters say it’s a toss-up over whether you committed a crime while in the Oval Office, confidence in your overall integrity is very shaky,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “Add to that, Michael Cohen, a known liar headed to the big house, has more credibility than the leader of the free world.”
Overall, more Americans approved of how the Democrats handled the House Oversight hearing in which Cohen testified. Forty-one percent approved of the Democrats’ performance, while 51 percent disapproved of the GOP.
But Americans aren’t ready to move toward impeachment: 59 percent of voters said that Congress should not begin impeachment hearings against Trump, while 35 percent said it should. But voters said that Congress should continue to investigate Trump, by nearly the same margin: 58 to 35 percent.
The poll put Trump’s approval rating at 38 percent, the same as in January.