The televised impeachment hearings that began this week in the U.S. House of Representatives do not appear to have changed many minds about President Donald Trump, with public support for his impeachment about the same before and after the first U.S. diplomats testified, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
The national online poll, which ran from Thursday to Friday morning, showed that 44% of U.S. adults said Trump “should be impeached,” while 40% said he “should not be impeached.” A similar poll that ran earlier in the week found 45% supported impeachment and 42% opposed it.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll also found that about 68% of Americans said they were following the hearings. That includes 28% who said they were watching or listening to the hearings on live broadcasts. About 25% said they had not paid any attention to the impeachment proceedings in Congress.
Among those paying attention, 41% said the hearings had made them “more supportive” of impeaching Trump, while 25% said they had made them “less supportive.” That finding, combined with the overall lack of movement in public opinion regarding impeachment, suggests the hearings so far have mostly provided people with a rationale for their earlier support or opposition to impeachment.
More Americans will follow the hearings I suspect. Today was particularly bad for the Trump regime as former US Ambassador to Ukraine testified about Donald Trump's intimidation efforts, which happened in real time because he couldn't stop himself from tweeting threats at a witness testifying while he watches her on TV.
House Democrats are calling Donald Trump’s decision to attack Marie Yovanovitch mid-hearing on Friday a blatant example of witness intimidation, further building the case to charge the president with obstruction in potential articles of impeachment.
Lawmakers of both parties were stunned to see Trump’s disparaging tweet about the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in the middle of a hearing where she had already described in great detail how she felt personally threatened by the president.
“What you saw today — witness intimidation in real-time by the president of the United States,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters during a brief pause in the hearing.
“Once again, going after this dedicated and respected career public servant in an effort to not only chill her but to chill others who may come forward,” Schiff added. “We take this kind of witness intimidation and obstruction of inquiry very seriously.”
Trump's attack was vile, stupid, and thuggish even for him.
Yovanovitch was laying out to House investigators in often-emotional detail how she had been recalled early from her post as the U.S. ambassador in Kyiv amid a smear campaign orchestrated against her by Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and others.
"Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad," Trump tweeted out as Yovanovitch spoke. "She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him."
He continued: "It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors. They call it 'serving at the pleasure of the President.' The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than [Obama]."
Again, real-time witness threats and intimidation, real-time obstruction of justice, in front of all America. The opinion polls aren't moving toward critical mass...yet.
They will after today.