Most say Biden has acted either illegally or unethically in his son’s business dealings

A third of the public approves of the House’s impeachment inquiry and 38% say neither party is equipped to manage government corruption.

October 14, 2023

Most adults say President Biden has at the very least acted unethically in his handling of the international business dealings of his son Hunter, including about a third who say he did something illegal. Only 30% of the public think Biden has done nothing wrong regarding Hunter’s business dealings.

Most Democrats do not think Biden has done anything wrong in his handling of his son’s business dealings while most Republicans say he has done something illegal.

A similar percentage of adults (67%) said former President Donald Trump acted unethically or illegally in his interactions with the president of Ukraine according to an AP-NORC poll taken in October 2019, with 38% believing he acted illegally. In the same poll, about 69% said Hunter Biden acted inappropriately by serving on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president. 

Yet, while most believe the current president acted illegally or unethically, only a third approve of the impeachment inquiry undertaken by the House of Representatives into Biden’s potential involvement. Republicans are more likely to approve of the impeachment inquiry while Democrats are more likely to disapprove.

Fifty-four percent of the public have read or heard little or nothing about the impeachment inquiry. Of those who have read or heard at least something about the impeachment inquiry, 49% disapprove compared with 31% of those who have not paid much attention to the inquiry.

Overall, there is little agreement on which party would be better at dealing with government corruption and 38% feel neither party is equipped for the job. More than half of Democrats trust their party to do a better job, while Republicans are more closely divided on whether their party or neither party would do a better job.

Seventy-eight percent of adults believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, including 64% of Democrats and 95% of Republicans.

While almost evenly split over how they feel of the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, most adults do not approve of his handling of the economy, student debt, or the federal budget. Biden’s overall approval rating stands at 38%. In the AP-NORC poll taken last month, his approval rating was 40%.

The nationwide poll was conducted October 5-9, 2023 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,163 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.9 percentage points.

Suggested Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (October 2023). “Most say Biden has acted either illegally or unethically in his son’s business dealings”

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