Speed Reads

Poll Watch

Nearly 80 percent of Americans want a special prosecutor to investigate Trump's Russia ties

When President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last week, many people, regardless of political ideology, agreed that the probe into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia needs a special prosecutor. As a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has found, the number of people who approve of a special prosecutor is actually overwhelming: 78 percent of Americans called for a special prosecutor while just 15 percent supported an investigation led by Congress.

On Friday, Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Dick Durbin (Ill.) demanded that if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein does not name a special prosecutor to the case, he should resign. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pushed back on such calls, claiming a new investigation "could only serve to impede the current work being done."

For The Atlantic, David Frum wrote that "of all the types of independent investigation that have been suggested, a special prosecutor is the most likely to disappear down rabbit holes — the least likely to answer the questions that needed to be answered." On the other hand, "the need for an independent actor who can both investigate and prosecute criminal wrongdoing in the executive branch is clear, because the attorney general and the Justice Department cannot be reliably impartial about their own bosses," The New York Times editorial board wrote in February.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll reached 800 adults between May 11 and May 13, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5. See the full results here.