Poll: Half Think Senior FBI, DOJ Officials Broke Laws to Block Trump Presidency

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, left, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in Washington. (Photos: Reuters)

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, left, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in Washington. (Photos: Reuters)

Last week, a memo prepared by Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) detailed abuses of government surveillance programs. It revealed that officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Justice Department (DOJ) used false information to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Team Trump.

Every single Democrat voting against the release of the bombshell memo authored largely by Representative Devin Nunes, R-Calif, the Chairman of the HPSCI. A Democrat memo that aims to downplay the abuses is expected shortly, though it will not offer evidence or dispute the main charges in the GOP memo.

Every single Republican voted to release the Democratic memo.

Now, a new poll finds half of likely U.S. voters believes it is at least somewhat likely senior officials at the FBI and DOJ broke the law in an effort to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidency. A Rasmussen Reports national phone and online survey finds 50% of voters believe that to be the case, including 32% who say it is “very likely” and 18% who say it is at least “somewhat likely.”

Only 25% of likely voters say that it is “not at all likely” top officials at the FBI and DOJ broke the law to stop President Trump’s election, while just 15% say it’s “not very likely.”

Sixty-six (66%) percent of Republicans, 40% of Democrats and 48% of voters unaffiliated with either party, agree. That also includes 56% of white voters, 40% of black voters and 60% of all other voters.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allows intelligence agencies to collect information on foreign targets abroad. However, it has been “routinely” abused and misused to spy on domestic targets, including President Trump, his associates and other U.S. citizens.

The memo specifically names former FBI Director James Comey, Sally Yates, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, as well as the just ousted FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Last week, Mr. McCabe was “removed” from his post at the FBI amid conflicts of interest and ongoing investigations of misconduct.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 5-6, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Half of voting America believes it is at least somewhat likely senior officials at the FBI and DOJ broke the law in an effort to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidency.

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Richard D. Baris :Richard D. Baris is the Director of the PPD Election Projection Model and of the Big Data Poll, both of which conducted the most accurate statewide forecasting in 2016. He is also the author of the must-read book on American political philosophy, Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract.