More Information From Mueller Report Won’t Shift Public Opinion: Poll

April 10, 2019 Updated: April 10, 2019

A sizable majority of Americans said that their opinion on special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian meddling is unlikely to change, as Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers on April 9 that he intends to release a redacted version of the report “within a week.”

The findings from a Hill-HarrisX survey of registered voters found an overwhelming 72 percent who said that more information from Mueller’s probe “would be unlikely to make them re-think their beliefs.” Meanwhile, only 28 percent said they believed their opinions could shift.

Barr released a four-page letter on Mueller’s findings in March that said the special counsel did not find evidence of a conspiracy between Russia and Trump’s campaign, or his organization. He also concluded that the special counsel didn’t provide enough evidence to substantiate that the president obstructed justice.

The poll also found that Democratic respondents were more likely to say that their opinions on the Russia investigation could change once more information is released. But 61 percent of Democrats “doubted their views would be changed.”

In contrast, 85 percent of Republicans said that their opinions would be unlikely to change. The number was similar for independents where 73 percent said the same.

A majority—60 percent of voters—also believed that Mueller himself would have come out in public to address any false information that Barr had detailed in his letter. In contrast, 40 percent believed Mueller would have remained silent.

Among Democrats, the number was more split at 53 percent, while for Republicans, 70 percent thought he would have publicly addressed it.

Democrat lawmakers have insisted for the release of the full report.

Attorney General William Barris testifies during a House Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill
Attorney General William Barris testifies during a House Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill on April 10, 2019. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Barr said previously that the redactions are related to sensitive material that by law cannot be made public, material the intelligence community identifies as potentially compromising sensitive sources and methods, material that could affect other ongoing matters, including those that the special counsel has referred to other departments, and information that would impact on third parties’ personal privacy and reputational interests.

“Within a week I will be in position to release that report to the public and then I will engage with the chairmen of both judiciary committees about that report, about any further requests that they have,” he said at his first appearance before Congress since receiving the report on March 22.

Overall, a majority of 54 percent believed that Barr had “correctly described” Mueller’s work.

President Donald Trump speaks to the press prior to departing on Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on April 10, 2019. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

“The partisan fight over the summary and the release of the Mueller report is in full swing, and the findings reflect that tug of war, showing strong partisan divides,” Dritan Nesho, CEO of HarrisX, said. “However most voters have faith in the process and the players involved, as do coveted independents.”

Another majority, 53 percent of voters, also believe that some information should be redacted before it is released publicly. Meanwhile, 47 percent said it should not be redacted.

The 4-point spread is just outside the survey’s margin of error.

The Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted online from within the United States between April 8-9 among 1000 registered voters. There is a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The results reflect a nationally representative sample of registered voters.

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