Poll: Slight majority of American voters say Sessions should resign

March 9, 2017

WASHINGTON -- A slight majority of American voters think that US Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath and should resign, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The survey, conducted by the independent Quinnipiac University, revealed that 52% of American voters believe the nation’s top law enforcement officer lied under oath -- and 51% say he should resign.

Though the Republican did not disclose communications with Russian officials during the election in his confirmation hearing, news emerged last week that he had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice while acting as a surrogate for President Donald Trump.

In a letter Monday, Sessions defended his earlier congressional testimony, maintaining that the meetings related solely to his responsibilities as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and not the concurrent campaign. In a supplemental letter submitted to the Senate, Sessions said his answer to Minnesota Democrat Sen. Al Franken was “correct,” and he did not bring up the meetings “because the question did not ask about them.” The poll was conducted largely before Sessions’ response to the accusations he faced were made public.

The revelation prompted Democratic lawmakers to call for Sessions’ resignation, and Republican members of Congress to ask for his recusal from investigations into US-Russian ties. Sessions later recused himself from all investigations into the Trump campaign, but not all investigations into Russia.

Franken said Tuesday that he believed Sessions’ congressional testimony to be incorrect. Speaking on CNN’s “The Lead” with Jake Tapper, the member of the Senate Judiciary committee called it “hard to come to any other conclusion than he just perjured himself.”

On the air and later on Twitter, Franken called for Sessions to come back before the committee and “explain” in person the allegations against him.

The Quinnipiac poll found that 54% of American voters disapprove of the way Trump is handling US policy toward Russia. An even greater number -- 61% -- described themselves as concerned about the President’s relationship with Russia, with 62% calling potential Russian election interference “important.”

Sixty-six percent support an “independent commission investigating potential links between some of Trump’s campaign advisers and the Russian government.”

On the topic of immigration, 63% of American voters said that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to remain in the US and become citizens.

That number, which represents the highest level of support for this position since Quinnipiac started asking the question in 2012, comes as the new administration moves toward a tougher stance on immigration.

Last week, Hispanic lawmakers made their third bid for a meeting with the President, expressing concern that new policies may be “dangerous and troubling.”

Between March 2 and March 6, Quinnipiac University polled 1,323 voters across the country with live interviewers using landlines and cellphones. The results have a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. –– (CNN)