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Voters Say Senior Fed Cops Likely Broke Law to Stop Trump

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Just over half of voters continue to believe some of the nation’s top cops may have acted illegally to keep President Trump from being elected. Those most familiar with a just-released Justice Department internal report detailing high-level political bias are even more convinced that there was wrongdoing.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters think it’s likely that senior federal law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Trump from winning the presidency, with 36% who say it’s Very Likely. That compares to 50% and 32% respectively when we first asked this question in February.

Thirty-nine percent (39%) still say it’s unlikely that these top officials broke the law in an effort to stop Trump, including 24% who say it’s Not At All Likely. Ten percent (10%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of voters say they have closely followed news reports about the investigation of the FBI by the Justice Department’s inspector general, with 44% who say they have followed Very Closely. That IG report was issued late last week and detailed anti-Trump bias among upper level FBI officials.

Among voters who have followed the IG’s investigation of the FBI Very Closely, 51% believe it is Very Likely that senior law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Trump’s election.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 17-18, 2018 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.

Most voters already believe a special prosecutor should be named to investigate whether senior FBI officials handled the investigations of Trump and Hillary Clinton in a legal and unbiased fashion.

Republicans have been following news reports about the IG’s investigation of the FBI more closely than Democrats and unaffiliated voters have.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of GOP voters say it is Very Likely that top federal law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to stop Trump, but just 21% of Democrats and 31% of unaffiliateds agree.

Those 40 and over have been following news of the FBI investigation much more closely than younger voters have. The older the voter, the more strongly they believe senior law enforcement officials broke the law.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the job the president is doing think it’s Very Likely that senior law enforcement officials acted illegally in an effort to stop Trump’s election. Among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Trump’s job performance, 54% say illegality by those top officials is Not At All Likely.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has spent $17 million so far investigating allegations of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. But nearly half of voters don’t think Mueller's probe is worth the money, and few believe the outcome will be good for the country.

Forty-six percent (46%) still felt in April that Mueller’s investigation is an honest attempt to determine criminal wrongdoing, but that was down from 52% last fall. Forty percent (40%) consider Mueller’s probe a partisan witch hunt, an eight-point increase from 32% in the earlier survey. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of Republicans said in February, long before the completion of the IG's report, that the FBI is more likely than the Russians to have meddled in the 2016 election.

Still most voters at that time continued to view the FBI favorably.

James Comey, the FBI director in 2016, has taken to print and the airwaves this spring to angrily denounce Trump, who fired him last year. But voters don’t rate Comey’s FBI performance too highly, and more think he should be legally punished for leaking to the media.

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

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