Most Republicans think Michael Cohen's guilty plea doesn't have much to do with Trump

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesDonald Trump.
  • A poll found that most GOP voters don’t think the plea deal for Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, has much to do with the president.
  • Their view is the opposite of the country at large, the poll found.

Most Republicans don’t think the plea deal reached by President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer has much to do with the president, a USA Today/Suffolk University poll found Wednesday.

In the survey, 62% of Republicans answered that Michael Cohen’s plea deal didn’t “have much to do with” Trump. Just 18% of Republicans said the agreement raised “serious questions about” Trump’s behaviour.

But that opinion was virtually the opposite of the public at large. Among all voters surveyed, 61% said Cohen’s plea deal raised serious questions about Trump’s behaviour, while 27% said it didn’t have much to do with Trump. Among Democrats, the split was 85% to 8%. Among independent voters, the split was 76% to 14%.

Last week, Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution, and two counts related to campaign-finance violations. While the first six counts were not related to Trump, the last two were.

On those last two charges, Cohen said under oath that Trump directed him to arrange hush payments to women to boost his candidacy.

The campaign-finance violations were in connection to payments to the former Playboy model Karen McDougal and the adult-film actor Stormy Daniels to silence their allegations of affairs years ago with Trump.

Altogether, Cohen faced 65 years in prison for the crimes to which he pleaded guilty, but the agreement makes it likely he faces a sentence between three and five years instead. Cohen could shorten that further by cooperating with the government’s ongoing investigations.

The USA Today/Suffolk University poll broke down the poll results into some further subsections:

  • Among respondents who trusted Fox News more than any other TV news outlet, 67% said the Cohen plea deal had little to do with Trump.
  • Just 16% said it raised serious questions about the president’s conduct.
  • A whopping 91% of respondents whose most trusted network is MSNBC and 83% of those surveyed who chose CNN said the plea deal raised serious questions about Trump’s behaviour.
  • Just 6% of respondents whose most trusted network is MSNBC and 10% of those who selected CNN said Cohen’s agreement didn’t have much to do with Trump.

USA Today/Suffolk University polled1,000 registered voters between Thursday and Tuesday. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

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