WASHINGTON (AP) — A majority of Americans say former President Donald Trump bears at least some blame for the Capitol insurrection, and about half say the Senate should vote to convict him at the end of his impeachment trial.
That’s according to a survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that also finds many Republicans continue to believe — contrary to all evidence — that President Joe Biden’s election was illegitimate.
It’s the latest sign that Trump’s monthslong disinformation campaign could have long-lasting ramifications for Biden as he tries to govern a fractured country and underscores the deep partisan divides that will outlast Trump’s presidency. But it also shows some degree of consensus, with even many Republicans saying that Trump was at least partially responsible for his supporters’ deadly storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 in a bid to overturn the results of the November election.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that Trump bears at least a moderate amount of responsibility for the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including half who say he bears a great deal or quite a bit. Just over a third say he bears little to no responsibility.
Most Republicans absolve him of guilt, but about 3 in 10 think he bears at least a moderate amount of blame for the events.
Fewer Americans, 47%, believe the Senate should vote to convict Trump after his impeachment trial, which begins next week. Another 40% say he should not be convicted, and 12% aren’t sure. Trump last month became the first president in the nation’s history to be impeached twice by the House, but it appears unlikely Democrats will have enough votes to convict him in the upper chamber.
Opinions on the trial fall along partisan lines, with more than 8 in 10 Democrats saying the Senate should convict, versus only about 1 in 10 Republicans. While those who believe he bears a large amount of responsibility generally believe he should be convicted, among those who say he is only moderately responsible, significantly more say the Senate should vote against than for conviction, 54% to 19%.
“I think it’s kind of ridiculous. Are we going to start impeaching all the past presidents we don’t like?” said Bill Stokes, 67, who lives in Casper, Wyoming, and voted for Trump in November, describing him as the “lesser of evils.”
While Stokes allowed that Trump “perhaps” bore some responsibility for the events of Jan. 6, he said, “I don’t think it warrants impeachment. Maybe a censure, if that.”
“I really don’t feel like he incited a riot. He asked them to go down there for a peaceful protest. Maybe he didn’t understand mob psychology, but I think his responsibility there — they’re trying to put more on him than there really is,” he said.
In interviews, other Republican respondents faulted Trump for egging on the crowd — and some felt he should be held accountable in some way — but didn’t think impeachment…
Go to the news source: Americans are split on Trump’s impeachment