By a wide margin, American voters believe their president has committed crimes.
Sixty-four percent of U.S. voters say they believe Donald Trump did something illegal before he was elected president, while 24 percent believe he did not, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.
Sixty-five percent of independents and 89 percent of Democrats said they believe Trump committed crimes before taking office. But only a minority of Republicans surveyed agree: 33 percent, compared with 48 percent who said they do not believe Trump committed crimes before being elected.
Voters are roughly split on the question of whether Trump has done anything illegal as president, with 43 percent saying he has and 45 percent indicating he has not.
Trump’s credibility doesn’t fare well when compared with that of Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, who is set to begin a three-year prison term in May after pleading guilty to lying to Congress about deals he pursued on behalf of Trump.
Asked “who do you believe more: President Trump or Michael Cohen,” voters line up solidly behind the president’s former fixer, with 50 percent saying Cohen and just 35 percent giving Trump the benefit of the doubt.
Cohen has admitted paying hush money to two women — porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal — during the 2016 presidential campaign for their silence regarding alleged extramarital affairs with Trump. He has described this as a violation of campaign finance laws with which Trump was complicit.
Forty percent of voters surveyed said hush money payments to hide negative stories during a presidential campaign was both unethical and a crime. Just 21 percent of those polled said such payments were not ethical but did not rise to the level of a crime.
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