Poll: Most Americans Think Starr Should End Probe
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 4) -- A majority of Americans think independent counsel Ken Starr should end his investigation into allegations that President Bill Clinton had an affair with a young White House intern and then urged her to lie about it under oath, according to a new Newsweek poll.
The poll, taken after Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against Clinton was dismissed last week, found that 57 percent of respondents thought Starr should end his investigation into the Monica Lewinsky controversy.
Only 38 percent thought the probe should continue, Newsweek said in its April 13 issue, which will be on the newsstands Monday.
And 81 percent of those polled said they thought it was unlikely that criminal charges or impeachment proceedings will be brought against Clinton.
Even if there was strong evidence that Clinton lied under oath about improper sexual behavior, 55 percent said they would be satisfied with an apology or no punitive action at all. Only 40 percent said they would want Clinton removed from office.
However, 49 percent of poll respondents said they would want to see Clinton removed from office if it were shown that Clinton encouraged other people to lie under oath.
And about 70 percent of those who responded to the poll said the allegations against Clinton would diminish his presidency in the eyes of history. Only 27 percent said his historical reputation would not be affected.
Clinton's overall approval rating in the Newsweek poll stood at 66 percent, up from 62 percent last month but down from the president's highest rating of 70 percent in late January.
The Newsweek poll of 755 adults was conducted April 2-3 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.