A month after Sessions was fired, polls still suggest people want the Mueller probe protected

President Donald Trump

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President Donald Trump
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Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

  • A new INSIDER poll shows most Americans say a law protecting Robert Mueller and the special counsel is important.
  • Support for passing a Mueller protection bill drastically changes by political affiliation.
  • The survey results come one month after President Trump ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

A little more than a month after Jeff Sessions resigned from his post as attorney general at President Donald Trump’s request, most Americans say a law protecting the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is necessary.

In a new national survey of Americans conducted by INSIDER, 35% of respondents said a law protecting FBI Director Robert Mueller and his team of investigators is “extremely important,” 18% said “very important,” and 21% said “somewhat important.”

In contrast, 10% said a law, which multiple lawmakers have already crafted, would be “not so important” and 16% responded “not at all important.”

Read more: Senate Republicans on Trump’s tirade against Mueller: ¯_(ツ)_/¯

The “extremely important” desire for a law to protect Mueller from some sort of scenario in which Trump tries to fire him or dismantle the special counsel is a much higher priority among respondents who identified as liberal – steadily increasing among those who are “slightly,” “moderately,” and “very” liberal.

On the other end of the spectrum, 52% of those identifying as “very conservative” described the Mueller protection efforts as “not at all important.”

The survey was conducted December 15 and 16 from 1,164 respondents.

The polling shows a different mood among Americans than that of members of Congress, who have largely avoided addressing the desire from Democrats and a handful of Senate Republicans who have sought to put barriers in place to protect the special counsel.

Shortly after Sessions departed the administration in November, retiring Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican, threatened to block confirmation of any judicial nominees in committee unless Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought the Special Counsel Protection Act to the floor for a vote.

So far, Flake has made good on his promise, but he will be replaced in January. And while Democrats will have taken back the majority in the House in the new year, Senate Republican leaders still seem unmotivated to move forward with any bill aimed at protecting Mueller.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,136 respondents, margin of error plus or minus 2.97 percentage points with 95% confidence level.