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

Vladimir Putin.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

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.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.