Nearly half of Americans support the most recent indictment of former President Donald Trump while also agreeing that the charges are politically motivated.
- According to the indictment, Trump is accused of willfully retaining classified documents after leaving office and later showing some of those documents to others. He is also charged with obstructing the surrounding investigation.
- A recent poll conducted by ABC News and Ipsos found that just under half of Americans support the former president being charged in the case relating to the alleged mishandling of classified documents.
- Another 35% think no charges should have been brought against Trump, and 17% remain uncertain.
- Opinions on the matter are clearly divided by political leanings. Around 86% of Democrats surveyed support the indictment, and 67% of Republicans are against it, the poll found.
- Around 42% of Americans find the charges to be serious, while only 28% do not consider them serious at all.
Why it’s news
The former president was indicted last week and will be arraigned in a Miami federal court today. This is the second indictment for Trump. He also faces criminal charges in New York City. However, that case is related to financial arrangements with adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Trump pleaded not guilty in that case.
American sentiment regarding the second indictment is strikingly similar to the public’s feelings regarding the first indictment, according to ABC’s polling.
While nearly half of Americans support the indictment, a similar number view the charges as politically motivated. Only 37% of those surveyed do not think the indictment has a political motivation. Most Republicans, around 80%, view the charges as political, while 71% of Democrats do not think there is a political motivation.
Trump’s political opponents have had a mixed reaction to the indictment. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is running for president in the 2024 election, says he finds the charges “troubling.”
“The American people deserve to know the reasons for this unprecedented action, and we also need to hear the former president’s defense. Then each of us can make our own judgment on whether this is the latest example of a Justice Department working an injustice, or otherwise,” Pence says.
Other candidates in the race have called for Trump to suspend his campaign. Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, another Republican presidential candidate, told ABC News, “This is a sad day for our country. While Donald Trump is entitled to the presumption of innocence, the ongoing criminal proceedings will be a major distraction. This reaffirms the need for Donald Trump to respect the office and end his campaign.”
Hutchinson’s sentiment echoes a large part of the American public’s viewpoint. Of those surveyed, 46% agree that Trump should halt his presidential campaign. Another 38% say he should not.
Recent polling indicates that Trump holds a comfortable lead for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Trump’s most recent indictment was unsealed on Friday and alleged that the documents found at Trump’s Florida residence included “defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack.”
Trump allegedly stored boxes of classified material throughout his Mar-a-Lago club, including on a ballroom stage and in a bathroom. Trump’s aide Walt Nauta has also been indicted for allegedly conspiring with the former president to obstruct the investigation.
In response to the public charges, Trump posted a video on the social-media site Truth Social saying, “I am innocent. We will prove that very, very soundly and hopefully very quickly. Thank you very much.”
His campaign also released a statement accusing the Department of Justice of bringing politically motivated charges: “President Trump violated no laws and is being held to a different legal standard than other former presidents and vice presidents.”