Americans are split on whether the Senate should move to remove Donald Trump from office, with 51 per cent saying a poll released Monday that he should be convicted.
In the CNN/SSRS poll, 45 per cent of Americans said the Senate should not vote to convict and remove the president and 4 per cent of respondents said they had no opinion on the matter.
The poll comes the day before the Senate is set to begin the proceedings in the impeachment trial.
It also shows a slight shift from the same poll in December, which had 47 per cent of Americans said Trump should not be removed compared to the 45 per cent who want to see him ousted from the White House.
Of the 1,156 respondents, 58 per cent feel Trump did abuse his power of the presidency and 57 per cent say it’s true he obstructed the House from being able to properly investigate him.
But the parties are sticking to their wits are this one – 89 per ent of Democrats believe he should be convicted and removed from office while only 8 per cent of Republicans agree. Independent voters are split.
Trump will likely be acquitted in the Republican-controlled chamber.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – Wednesday evening. Then the seven Democratic impeachment managers, which she announced earlier in the day, hand delivered the articles to the Senate side of Congress.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, announced Wednesday that the impeachment trial would commence Tuesday. On Monday Congress observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Kentucky Republican has not yet shared with Democrats what the rules of the trial will be, but one aide revealed it could feature 24 hours for opening states for both the defense and prosecution with two days to spread that time out.
McConnell said the Senate would decide whether witnesses will be permitted in the trial.
Democrats have demanded they be allowed to call witnesses, like Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, but Republicans have said they would then call witnesses like former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter and the anonymous whistle-blower.
Americans seem to agree that witnesses should be called, with 69 per cent indicating the trial should feature testimony from new individuals who did not testify in the House impeachment investigation.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, and was taken January 16-19 the days after the articles were turned over to the Senate.
The articles were read by lead Democratic prosecution manager Adam Schiff on the Senate floor Thursday. Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts was then sworn in to preside over the hearing and he swore in all 100 senators.
This week will feature opening arguments.
Donald Trump’s team appointed attorneys Alan Dershowitz, a liberal Democrats, and Ken Starr to presents arguments against impeaching.
Dershowitz insists that abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are not impeachable offenses as detailed by high crimes and misdemeanors in the Constitution.