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    Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington. (File)

    Majority in US See Mueller Probe as Political, But Support Continuation - Poll

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    A new poll by CBS News shows that a majority of Americans see Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian collusion as politically motivated. However, a majority also believe the investigation should be allowed to continue, and that Congress should protect Mueller’s ability to do so.

    CBS' new poll found some interesting statistics about Americans' opinions on the Mueller investigation, which has been looking into the question of alleged collusion between Russian actors and Donald Trump's presidential election campaign in 2016. Trump won that election, but intelligence officials allege that actors associated with the Russian government helped to sway the contest in his favor. Mueller's task force has not yet turned up any evidence proving that any Russian person or action by a Russian or person connected to the Russian government had any remotely important influence upon the outcome of the US election.

    According to the news agency, 51 percent of Americans see the special counsel's Russia investigation as politically motivated rather than justified. However, 72 percent said Trump should allow the investigation to continue, and 52 percent said Congress should protect Mueller's ability to do so.

    The poll, conducted by CBS by phone between November 15 and 18, surveyed 1,103 US adults at random, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

    Last Wednesday, Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake said he would block any judicial nominations by the president until legislation protection Mueller's investigation was brought to vote, The Hill reported. However, the senator will depart from Washington at the end of the year, since he did not seek re-election.

    Flake indicated on Sunday that his primary concern is that Acting Attorney General Matt Whittaker, who has been heading the US Justice Department since Jeff Sessions resigned on November 7, has shown hostility toward Mueller's investigation and indicated impatience not only with its progress but also its scope, Sputnik reported.

    Back in September, a CNN poll indicated an even 50 percent of Americans approved of Mueller's handling of the investigation. That poll was conducted days after former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight of 18 counts of major financial crimes. Manafort was brought to trial by Mueller's investigation, but the charges against him had nothing to do with supposed collusion with the Russian government on behalf of his former boss. He later pleaded guilty to the remaining charges.

    Related:

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    majority, support, investigation, Russiagate, poll, CBS News, Robert Mueller
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