September 26, 2018 / 8:58 PM / 22 days ago

Only one in five adults want Rosenstein to leave: Reuters/Ipsos poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans are largely supportive of the Department of Justice official overseeing the special counsel investigating the 2016 campaign of President Donald Trump, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks during the Bureau of Justice Assistance's rollout for the "Fentanyl: The Real Deal" training video in Washington, U.S., August 30, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Those wanting U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to stay outnumber those who want him out by a margin of almost two-to-one.

The Sept. 25-26 poll, released on Wednesday, found that 42 percent of adults agree that Rosenstein should “keep his job.”

That compares with 22 percent who said they disagree, and another 35 percent who said they “don’t know.”

FILE PHOTO: Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein holds his copy of the U.S. Constitution as he participates in a Law Day event at the Newseum in Washington, U.S. May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Rosenstein has been in Trump’s crosshairs ever since he appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The probe, which Trump has frequently labeled a “witch hunt,” has resulted in more than 30 indictments and six guilty pleas so far.

On Monday, some news organizations reported Rosenstein was out of the job after a report in the New York Times had said he suggested secretly recording Trump. That was not the case, but Trump later said that he had not decided what to do about Rosenstein.

Rosenstein is expected to meet on Thursday with Trump to discuss his future at the Justice Department. It is unclear who would take over as Mueller’s supervisor if Rosenstein leaves.

The poll also found that while the public is split along party lines regarding Mueller — two-thirds of Democrats have a favorable impression of the special counsel and two-thirds of Republicans have an unfavorable impression of him — a slight majority want an independent investigation to continue.

If Mueller “were to be terminated or resign,” 51 percent said an independent investigation should continue, while 24 percent said it should not.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,187 adults, including 441 Democrats and 383 Republicans. The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 3 percentage points.

Reporting by Chris Kahn; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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