Support for Criminally Charging Trump Over Jan. 6 Rises During Hearings

New polling shows that support for criminally charging former President Donald Trump over his actions related to the January 6, 2021 attack against the U.S. Capitol has risen as the public hearings of the House select committee investigating the violence of that day proceed.

The House investigators began holding public televised hearings on June 9, and have held three hearings until now—outlining the evidence they've uncovered surrounding the events of January 6 and Trump's efforts to unconstitutionally overturn the 2020 election results. Multiple witnesses have testified live or in previous video recordings, and have included former top administration officials, former White House lawyers, and Trump campaign officials.

Polling data released Sunday by ABC News/Ipsos shows a notable uptick in the number of Americans who believe Trump should face criminal charges for his actions compared to previous survey data from late April. The new poll was conducted from June 17 to June 18.

The survey shows that 58 percent of Americans believe the ex-president should face criminal charges. Meanwhile, 40 percent do not believe Trump should be indicted. The survey had 545 respondents and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

President Trump on Jan. 6
A majority of Americans believe former President Donald Trump should be indicted for his actions on January 6, 2021. Above, Trump speaks to supporters near the White House on January 6, just before hundreds of his followers attacked the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Comparatively, a similar ABC News/Washington Post poll from late April found less support for criminally charging the former president. That previous survey showed just 52 percent believed Trump should face an indictment over the Capitol attack—six points less than the latest survey. A slightly larger amount (42 percent) also believed Trump should not face criminal charges at that time.

The April survey included 1,004 Americans and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

Another recent survey by Navigator Research revealed that a majority of Americans also believe Trump should be indicted by the Justice Department. That poll had 54 percent in favor of charging the former president, and just 37 percent opposed to the idea. The data was collected from June 9 to 13 from approximately 1,000 respondents.

Trump continues to deny any wrongdoing related to the Capitol riot and his efforts to overturn President Joe Biden's election win. He insists that the 2020 election was "rigged" or "stolen," and criticized former Vice President Mike Pence for not going along with his unconstitutional plot to prevent Biden from taking office.

Despite Trump's claims about the 2020 election, no evidence has emerged corroborating allegations of widespread voter fraud leading to his loss. To the contrary, dozens of election challenge lawsuits filed by the former president and his allies failed in state and federal courts. Even judges Trump appointed ruled against the lawsuits.

The House select committee showed video of Trump's former Attorney General William Barr's testimony, in which he asserted that the claims about election fraud were "bulls**t."

"Frankly a year and a half later I've seen nothing to change my mind on that," Barr said. He also said that he was concerned about Trump's mental health if he actually believed the often bizarre conspiracy theories.

"I thought, 'Boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has lost contact with—he's become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff,'" the former attorney general told investigators.

Despite the lack of evidence, hundreds of Trump supporters believed the claims and attacked the Capitol last January. The assault came shortly after the then-president urged them at a nearby rally to walk to the federal legislative building and "fight like hell." Many of those who participated in the riot have said that they believed they were acting on the orders of the president when they entered and attacked the Capitol.