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Despite GOP push, American mainstream backs investigations into Trump

When it comes to scrutinizing this controversial presidency, most Americans welcome investigations.
Image: TOPSHOT-US-POLITICS-ELECTIONS-TRUMP
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump leaves after speaking during the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in the...

Almost immediately after the 2018 midterms, as Republicans came to terms with the effects of losing their House majority, GOP leaders settled on a fairly specific message: Democrats shouldn't do too much oversight of Donald Trump and his many scandals.

Indeed, it actually started shortly before the midterms, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urged Democrats not to use their power to investigate White House scandals, condemning the practice as "presidential harassment." (It's a phrase Trump has eagerly embraced.)

In the weeks that followed, several GOP leaders pushed a very similar message. The president himself even started issuing threats on the subject, insisting that if House Dems conduct detailed oversight of his administration's controversies, he'd declassify "devastating" information about his domestic political enemies.

None of this appears to have deterred Democrats, and just as importantly, it doesn't appear to have persuaded the public.

Six in 10 Americans in an ABC News/Washington Post poll say the new Democratic majority in the House should make use of its authority to obtain and publicly release Donald Trump's tax returns, while about as many support other Democratic-led investigations of the president.Beyond the tax issue, 57 to 61 percent back House investigations into three topics tested in the national survey: possible collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, Trump's relationship and communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin and possible financial ties between Trump and foreign governments.

For context, it's probably worth emphasizing that the poll was conducted last week -- before Roger Stone was arrested and the federal indictment against him, which included provocative new details about the Trump campaign and Russia, was released to the public.

Or put another way, the number of Americans supporting congressional investigations into Russia-related Trump scandals may be a little higher now.

It's also worth noting that the same poll showed many Americans expressing concern about whether investigations into the president would be conducted fairly, which isn't an unreasonable concern, but which will hopefully be addressed by responsible oversight.

The bottom line, however, remains the same: when it comes to scrutinizing this controversial presidency, most Americans welcome investigations.