A new poll published on Friday shows that nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe that former President Donald Trump bears responsibility for the attack on the United States Capitol building nearly one and a half years ago.
According to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, which was conducted between June 23 and 27, 58 percent of Americans say Trump bears a “great deal” or “quite a bit” of responsibility for the attack perpetrated by a mob of his loyalists on January 6, 2021. Another 12 percent say he bears a “moderate amount” of responsibility for what happened, while only 28 percent say he doesn’t bear much or any responsibility at all.
In terms of who bears the most responsibility for the attack among the political figures the poll asked about, Trump received the highest numbers. A plurality of Americans (46 percent) also say Republicans in Congress were more responsible than not for the attack, with less than a third (30 percent) saying they weren’t that responsible. Just 22 percent blamed Democrats in Congress for the events that transpired, with 51 percent saying Democrats bore little or no responsibility for the attack.
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Only one group of people — the actual individuals involved in the attack — received a higher rating than Trump on the question of who was responsible for the January 6 attack, with 78 percent of respondents in the poll saying the January 6 mob bore a great amount or quite a bit of responsibility for what happened that day.
Attitudes on the hearings, and on Trump specifically, run largely along partisan lines, with 92 percent of Democrats saying the former president should be blamed “quite a bit” or a “great deal,” versus just 21 percent of Republicans who think so.
A plurality of Americans — 48 percent, according to the poll — believe that Trump should be charged with a crime for his involvement on January 6 and the days leading up to it. Only 31 percent said he shouldn’t be charged, while 20 percent say they didn’t know enough to have an opinion.
These opinions come even though many in the poll admitted they hadn’t been paying attention to the January 6 House committee’s hearings on the attack. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they’ve been following news about the hearings, but when asked if they’ve watched or listened to the hearings, 57 percent of those surveyed said they had not.
Notably, the poll’s findings were obtained before a surprise January 6 committee hearing that was held on Tuesday, which included explosive testimony from former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who worked closely with Trump as an assistant to the president’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Hutchinson revealed many alarming details about Trump’s mindset on the day of and in the weeks preceding the January 6 attack, which occurred while Congress was in session to certify the 2020 presidential election results.
According to Hutchinson, for example, Trump was furious about his loyalists being denied entry to his “Stop the Steal” rally outside the White House that morning, even though many of them were carrying weapons, including AR-15 rifles. Trump, who would later encourage his loyalists to descend onto the Capitol, wasn’t concerned about the weapons because, according to Hutchinson, Trump knew that the armed mob was not a threat to him.
“I don’t fucking care that they have weapons,” Hutchinson recalled Trump had said. “They’re not here to hurt me.”
“Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here,” Hutchinson also recollected the former president as saying.