While nearly half of Americans support the second indictment of former President Donald Trump relating to his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving office, many also believe it was politically motivated.
On Thursday, Trump announced he was indicted by Special Counsel Jack Smith on 37 federal counts relating to the unlawful retention of classified documents, describing the investigation to Fox News Digital as “the greatest witch hunt of all time.”
A recent ABC/Ipsos poll conducted after the shocking indictment found that 48% of Americans think Trump was rightfully charged in the classified documents case, while 35% do not think he should have been indicted. About 17% reported feeling unsure about whether the former president should have been indicted the second time.
Among political parties, 86% of Democrats and 45% of independents said they support the indictment, while the majority of Republicans, 67%, disagree with the charges against Trump.
The unsealed indictment states that during his presidency, Trump “gathered newspapers, press clippings, letters, notes, cards, photographs, official documents, and other materials in cardboard boxes that he kept in the White House.” Smith also claimed Trump showed classified documents to others twice in 2021.
According to the poll, 47% of Americans think the charges against Trump are politically motivated, 37% said they do not think that politics are driving the investigation, and 16% do not know.
About 42% of American believe the charges are very serious, while 28% do not think the charges against the former president should be taken seriously.
While the former president says he will plead not guilty, the poll suggested that 46% of Americans think that given the charges, Trump should halt his 2024 campaign for president. Despite some concern, 38% believe he should continue his campaign, while 16% did not have an opinion.
The survey also revealed that 2024 contenders Trump and President Joe Biden both have a favorability rating of 31% among voters. The ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted from June 9-10, 2023, in English and Spanish with a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.
In March 2022, the FBI launched a criminal probe into alleged unlawful retention of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, seizing 102 documents with classification markings from Trump’s Florida home during an unexpected raid in August 2022.
Following the indictment, Trump will be arraigned in federal court on Tuesday in Miami.
The indictment is the second faced by Trump since launching his 2024 campaign for president, after being first indicted on charges stemming from alleged claims he made hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.