48% See Anti-Trump Bias in Senior FBI, Justice Officials
Monday, December 18, 2017
With recent news reports and e-mails showing anti-Trump bias by several senior level FBI and Justice Department officials, nearly half of voters now believe there was an illegal effort to deny Donald Trump the presidency.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters think senior federal law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Trump from winning last year’s election. Forty-one percent (41%) disagree. This includes 31% who say it’s Very Likely these senior officials broke the law and 23% who say it’s Not At All Likely. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
At least one of the officials in question also played a key role in the FBI’s decision not to seek an indictment of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her mishandling of classified information while secretary of State. Most voters (53%) disagreed with that decision in a survey less than three weeks before the election, but now only 44% feel that way. Slightly more (46%) agree with the decision not to seek an indictment of Clinton, up from 39%.
On both questions, as is generally the case on political questions, there’s a wide difference of opinion between Republicans and Democrats.
A House investigation of the FBI and Justice Department officials in question appears likely.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 14 and 17, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
As special counsel Robert Mueller continues his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, one-in-three voters believe the probe is fueled by a political agenda. One of Mueller's senior deputies was reportedly demoted over his anti-Trump e-mails to a similar minded Justice Department lawyer he was having an extramarital affair with.
Women are more likely than men to agree with the decision not to seek an indictment of Clinton, but both are in general agreement when it comes to the presence of high-level illegality to stop Trump from winning.
Sixty-six percent (66%) of Republicans and 50% of voters not affiliated with either major party think it’s likely that senior federal law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to defeat Trump. Only 31% of Democrats agree.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Democrats agree with the FBI’s decision not to pursue an indictment against their party’s nominee last year, a view shared by only 30% of GOP voters and 39% of unaffiliateds.
Among voters who agree with the decision not to seek a Clinton indictment, just 31% think it’s likely top law enforcement officials illegally tried to stop Trump. Seventy-three percent (73%) of those who disagree with the FBI’s Clinton decision believe it’s likely there was a high-level illegal effort to defeat Trump.
Half of all voters (50%) consider it unlikely that Mueller’s investigation will lead to criminal charges against Trump. Thirty-nine percent (39%) disagree and say it’s likely.
Seventy-two percent (72%) of Democrats feel the Mueller investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election is an honest attempt to determine criminal wrongdoing. But 54% of Republicans think it’s a partisan witch hunt.
Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters think Clinton is likely to have broken the law by sending and receiving e-mails containing classified information through a private e-mail server.
Fifty-two percent (52%) say Bill and Hillary Clinton’s private dealings with Russian officials should be included in the investigations of the Trump campaign’s alleged Russia ties. Fifty-one percent (51%) say it’s likely the Clintons or their close political associates broke the law in their dealings with Russia.
Just 32% now believe Clinton won her party’s presidential nomination fairly.
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