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Most Say FBI Should Make Clinton Files Public

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Most voters still think Hillary Clinton is likely to have broken the law in her handling of classified information and disagree with the FBI’s decision to keep secret its files on last year’s Clinton probe.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the FBI should make public its files on the investigation of Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private e-mail server while secretary of State. Thirty-two percent (32%) say the FBI should not make those files public, while 14% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The FBI announced recently that it would not make the files on the Clinton investigation public because there is a lack of interest in them, but following legal challenges from two conservative public interest groups, a federal judge has now ordered the FBI to reverse that decision.

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 while serving as secretary of State. Thirty percent (30%) consider that unlikely. This includes 44% who say it’s Very Likely the unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate broke the law and just 11% who feel it’s Not At All Likely.

These findings have changed very little since Rasmussen Reports first asked this question two years ago.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 31 and September 3, 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.

Just after his win last November, Donald Trump in a TV interview backed away from his campaign vow to name a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton’s handling of classified information. Most Republicans wanted the incoming GOP administration to keep investigating Clinton and her closest aides. Most Democrats did not. Voters not affiliated with either major party were almost evenly divided.

Not surprisingly there’s a sharp partisan difference of opinion over Clinton’s actions and the FBI investigation, but then as recently as April, 61% of Democrats still did not believe that Trump fairly won the election.

So while 77% of Republicans and 55% of voters not affiliated with either major political party think the FBI should make public its files on the Clinton investigation, only 34% of Democrats agree. After all, only 19% of Democrats believe it’s Very Likely that Clinton broke the law, a view held by 73% of GOP voters and 42% of unaffiliateds.

Men are more supportive of making the Clinton files public than women are. Most voters of all ages are in general agreement that Clinton is likely to have broken the law and that the FBI files should be released to the public.

While most blacks agree with the majority of whites and other minority voters that Clinton is likely to have broken the law, blacks are much more opposed than the others to making the FBI files about the Clinton investigation public.

Among voters who want to make the FBI files public, 72% say Clinton is Very Likely to have broken the law.  Only nine percent (9%) of those opposed to releasing the files agree.

Last October, 53% of all voters still disagreed with the FBI’s decision not to indict Clinton for her mishandling of classified information. Seventy percent (70%) said the classified information issue was important to their vote for president.

Clinton and her staff chose to delete over 30,000 e-mails and not turn them over to the FBI. Sixty-two percent (62%) of voters think it is likely those e-mails were deleted to hide something incriminating.

Voters are closely divided on the importance of Congress investigating whether Russia interfered with the last election, but if it does, they think the Clintons’ ties to the Russians should be part of the probe.

Right after the election, voters by a 48% to 35% margin said the results were more a vote against Clinton than a vote for Trump.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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To learn more about our methodology, click here.