Reuters/Ipsos Survey: Most say Trump is not above the law

Many see the investigation as politically motivated, but see the allegations as believable

The author(s)
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, March 21, 2023– The latest Reuters/Ipsos survey following news of a possible indictment for Donald Trump by the Manhattan District Attorney's office, shows Americans believe Donald Trump is not above the law, and a large majority say Trump should stand trial if he broke the law. Americans also do not support violent acts as a way to achieve a political goal, and do not believe violent acts are acceptable to achieve their idea of a better society.  

Detailed Findings

Most Americans have at least heard of New York prosecutors' investigation of Donald Trump (88%), and more than half say the indictment of Donald Trump on criminal charges is politically motivated (54%). On the other hand, seventy percent of Americans say it is believable that Donald Trump paid Stormy Daniels money so she would not talk about their extramarital relationship during the 2016 presidential election. This includes 50% of Republicans, 89% of Democrats and 77% of independents. Three in five Americans (62%) also say it is believable that Donald Trump falsified business records and committed fraud, including 92% of Democrats, 32% of Republicans and 61% of independents. Nine in ten Americans (88%) agree that Donald Trump is not above the law, including 94% of Democrats, 89% of Republicans and 79% of independents. Eighty-five percent of Americans say if Donald Trump broke the law, he should stand trial, including 94% of Democrats, 79% of independents, and 80% of Republicans. 

not above the law

trump indictment

When asked how they would respond if Donald Trump were arrested by law enforcement, most Americans say they would do nothing (77%), 4% said they would take up arms, 6% would donate to his legal defense, and 6% would join protests. Eighty-six percent of Americans believe it is not acceptable for a member of their party to threaten/intimidate others to achieve a political goal. Nine in ten Americans, including even an number of Democrats (88%) and Republicans (86%) say that violent acts are not acceptable to achieve their idea of a better society.  

Americans do not support violence

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 20-21, 2023 on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For this survey, a sample of 1,003 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample includes 415 Democrats, 383 Republican and 113 independents.

The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel, partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2022 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,003, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.3 percentage points).

The poll also has a credibility interval of plus or minus 5.9 percentage points for Democrats, plus or minus 6.1 percentage points for Republicans, and plus or minus 11.3 percentage points for independents.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Annaleise Lohr
Director, US
Public Affairs
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is one of the largest market research and polling companies globally, operating in 90 markets and employing over 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. Our 75 solutions are based on primary data from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:


The author(s)
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs