- Alex Wong/Getty Images
- Earlier this month, President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said the president could shoot former FBI Director James Comey and not be indicted unless he was impeached.
- Public Policy Polling asked registered voters whether Trump should face prosecution if he shot Comey.
- 77% of voters said yes, and 63% of Trump voters said yes. 37% of Trump voters either said no or were not sure.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani made a seemingly wild suggestion – that the president could commit any crime and not face an indictment unless he was first impeached.
To make his point, Giuliani used the following example in an interview with HuffPost: Trump could shoot former FBI Director James Comey, whom the president fired last May, and not even face prosecution unless and until he was impeached from office.
The comment drew attention, although as Giuliani explained in an interview with Business Insider afterward, there is substance that backs up his argument. Giuliani cited a 2000 memo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel following former President Bill Clinton’s sex scandal, saying that while the Constitution does not give the president immunity from prosecution, the president cannot be indicted.
“I said if he shot somebody, he can’t be indicted … but he can be impeached and then indicted,” Giuliani said in a conversation about some of the president’s recent commentary about the power to self-pardon and special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
On Wednesday, the left-leaning Public Policy Polling put this hypothetical to the test with voters. Though the question was not framed around whether Trump should be impeached if he shot Comey, it was framed around whether Trump should face prosecution if he were to do so.
Among all registered voters PPP polled, 77% said they felt that he should be prosecuted while just 10% said they believed he should not be. Another 13% said they were unsure. Among Trump voters, the spread tightened, as 63% said the president should be prosecuted if he shot Comey while 18% said he should not be and 19% said they were unsure.
That meant more than one-third of Trump voters polled either thought Trump should not be prosecuted or were unsure of whether he should face prosecution.
PPP surveyed 679 registered voters and the poll had a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.
Meanwhile, Comey recently responded to Giuliani’s hypothetical.
“I hope it’s hyperbole because none of my blue suits are bullet proof,” he said.