51% of Americans think Trump should be impeached, shows poll, Latest World News - The New Paper

51% of Americans think Trump should be impeached, shows poll

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Poll shows more Americans support removal of US President after public hearings in Congress kicked off last week

WASHINGTON : A slim majority of Americans believe US President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office for his controversial Ukraine actions, according to the first poll after the launch of public hearings in Congress.

Fifty-one per cent of those asked think Mr Trump should be tried and convicted in the US Senate, while another 6 per cent favoured impeachment but not removal, according to the ABC News-Ipsos poll released on Monday.

That appeared to represent an increase from before the hearings in the House Intelligence Committee began last Wednesday. An average of previous polls showed about 48 per cent supported Mr Trump's removal, according to the website FiveThirtyEight.

The poll suggested as well a drop in the number of people opposing impeachment, to 38 per cent, compared to the previous average of about 46 per cent.

But a quarter of all those polled did not think Mr Trump did anything wrong.

The ABC-Ipsos poll showed 58 per cent of Americans over 18 were following the impeachment hearings at least somewhat closely, while 42 were not following closely or at all.

The hearings last Wednesday and Friday saw veteran US diplomats support allegations that Mr Trump pressured Ukraine to help him find political dirt on rival Democrat and former vice-president Joe Biden, who could face Mr Trump in next year's presidential election.

Witnesses who are expected to take the stand this week include US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who allegedly transmitted Mr Trump's demands to the Ukraine government.

Mr Trump, who faces the prospect of becoming only the third president in US history to be impeached, tweeted early Monday that he is "strongly" considering testifying to defend himself against allegations that he abused his powers in seeking foreign help for the 2020 election.

He tweeted that House leader Nancy Pelosi suggested "that I testify about the phoney impeachment witch hunt".

"She also said I could do it in writing," he said.

"Even though I did nothing wrong, and don't like giving credibility to this no due process hoax, I like the idea and will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it."


Pundits were sceptical and said the likelihood of Mr Trump following through was low.

In Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether Mr Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with Russia, Mr Trump hinted early on that he would testify and then stalled for months before answering written questions.

Even so, his lawyers negotiated strict limits on what kind of questions could be put, and in dozens of instances, Mr Trump said he could not "recall" the facts. - AFP