71 Percent of Americans Believe Trump Holds Some Responsibility for Capitol Riot: Poll

Prior to the acquittal of former President Donald Trump by the Senate in his second impeachment trial Saturday, a newly published poll reflects that many Americans said Trump had some role in inciting the Capitol riot.

According to a new Ipsos poll conducted for Reuters, 71 percent Americans believed that former President Donald Trump was at least "partially" responsible for inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6. The national online survey of nearly 1,000 American adults was released after Trump's lawyers presented their defense of the former president in the Senate impeachment trial on Friday.

While majority of those surveyed said Trump was somewhat responsible for the riots, 30 percent said he was "fully" responsible for the attack that resulted in the death of five people, including a Capitol police officer.

On Saturday afternoon, 43 Republican senators voted not guilty in Trump's trial, resulting in the former president's acquittal.

Additionally about 50 percent said they would convict Trump if they were given a vote in the matter, 38 percent were against conviction, and 12 percent were unsure.

Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said Trump should be barred from holding public office again, while 39 percent said he should be permitted to run.

Most survey respondents said they made up their minds whether or not Trump should be convicted before the Senate trial even began.

Respondents were also divided along party lines, with most Democrats in favor of blaming Trump for the riot, and nearly half of all Republicans preferring to say Trump was "partially responsible."

Trump's lawyers lodged their defense, arguing talking points that the Senate could not try a former official and the former president was exercising his First Amendment right to free speech by calling his supporters to Washington, D.C. on the day Congress would certify President Joe Biden's election.

The opposition countered that Trump spread misleading information about the results of the 2020 presidential election and urged his followers to storm the Capitol or join protests in Washington, D.C. on January 6. Some of the rioters who have since been arrested have told courts they believed they were awaiting a signal from Trump to "activate" premeditated plans to "stop the steal" of the 2020 presidential election.

"There is nothing, nothing more unethical to our democracy," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said of Trump's "egregious" example of an "impeachable offense" on the Senate floor on Saturday in response to the acquittal.

The Senate's leading Republican spoke in response to the acquittal verdict.

"There's no question President trump is...responsible for provoking the events," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in the Senate chamber after the vote. He cited the "wild myths" Trump had spread about the election that contributed to a "crescendo" of disinformation prompting the riots last month.

"In ordinary language, President Trump is still liable for everything he did in office," McConnell said, arguing that impeachment was not the "final forum" for the American justice system.

Donald Trump acquittal
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: A video billboard calling for the conviction of former U.S. President Donald Trump plays near the U.S. Capitol on the fourth day of former President Trump's second impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol on February 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump's defense lawyers will present their case on Friday, where his legal team will argue that he should be acquitted of inciting an insurrection. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/Getty