In the wake of the Department of Justice-issued indictment of former President Donald Trump with regard to the classified documents probe, the former president is seeing overwhelming support from the voting public.
According to the Washington Examiner, a Harvard-Harris poll conducted just a few days after the announcement that Trump faces 37 federal charges revealed that a majority of voters believe he should be pardoned if he's convicted and issued a jail sentence.
In total, 53% of respondents indicated that they believe Trump should be pardoned. Forty-seven percent believe pardoning him is a bad idea.
A Harvard CAPS-Harris poll found 53% of Americans favor a pardon for Trump if convicted in the federal case. https://t.co/1ICiKpT3Vp. That is why the relevant odds are not Trump's likelihood of conviction but incarceration, as discussed in this column... https://t.co/E0Q05Giuer
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) June 17, 2023
Trump has long maintained that he's innocent and never broke federal law with regard to how he handled and stored classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
The Examiner added:
The issue of pardoning Trump should he be sentenced to prison is largely partisan to one's political party, as 80% of Republican respondents were in favor of the idea, and 20% who are against it. For Democratic respondents, only 30% were in favor of pardoning Trump if he is sentenced, while 70% were not in favor.
Trump has received mixed support in other polls, with some indicating that a majority still back him for the Republican nomination no matter what happens, and other polls where a majority believe he should drop out of the race.
Special Counsel Jack Smith believes Trump "knowingly and willfully" mishandled the classified documents that were stored at his Florida estate, and in addition, stonewalled the National Archives in its attempts to retrieve the records once Trump left office.
Smith also charges Trump with improperly storing some of the documents in "unsecured" locations throughout Mar-a-Lago.
Given the gravity of the charges Trump faces, they each come with hefty amounts of jail time.
A separate Examiner report noted:
The Espionage Act charges carry a sentence of up to 10 years each, obstructing justice up to 20 years, and making false statements up to five years, although it is unlikely that Trump would receive such large sentences if convicted.
Some 2024 Republican candidates have already vowed to pardon Trump should the opportunity arise. Others have shied away from the question.
Trump could face more indictments this year: one stemming from Georgia over the 2020 election results, and the other regarding his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion.
Only time will tell if Trump ever needs a pardon, but it looks like a majority of the American public firmly supports the idea at this point.