Americans have had a week to process a report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, and new polling shows a majority believe the FBI broke the law.
Following an appearance by Horowitz before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week and his testimony on the origins of the FBI’s investigation of President Trump’s 2016 campaign, the latest Fox News Poll shows 53 percent of voters believe the agency acted illegally.
The report from Horowitz revealed 17-violations that had occurred in the FBI’s process of using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to get a warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, claiming he was an “agent” of a foreign power. The allegation was based in part on information from British ex-spy Christopher Steele, though Page has refuted the accusations and has never been charged with any wrong-doing.
Horowitz concluded that bureau agents failed to disclose key information to the FISA Court in their process and now 22 percent of Americans polled believe it was “extremely” likely that the FBI broke the law in its investigation. Another 14 percent felt it was “very” likely and still 17 percent of voters polled thought it was “somewhat” likely.
And along party lines, nearly twice as many Republicans – 71 percent – than Democrats -38 percent – believe the FBI broke the law.
Despite the incessant beat of Democrats banging the impeachment drum, it seems Americans see corruption for what it is. And many have seen it from the start, as BPR’s CEO Jack Furnari astutely pointed out almost exactly two years ago.
“The FBI has lost the trust of many Americans,” he tweeted in response to former FBI Director James Comey’s declaration to the contrary, adding that the agency “has been turned into a partisan political operation.”
.The only people who must go on Twitter to say they’re honest, generally aren’t. The FBI has lost the trust of many Americans, that’s not Trump’s fault, it’s mostly yours. It’s clear to anyone objective that the @FBI has been turned into a partisan political operation.
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) December 4, 2017
Even back in the beginning of this year, a Rasmussen poll showed that 56 percent of voters believed the FBI had broken the law. The latest survey from the polling company found that 52 percent of Americans “consider it likely that senior federal law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Trump from winning the presidency.”
Rasmussen pointed out that the “findings are virtually unchanged in surveying since February of last year.”
A plurality (43%) thinks these officials should be jailed if they are found guilty of breaking the law to prevent a Trump presidency, up dramatically from 25% early this year, while another 22% say they should just be fired. Fifteen percent (15%) favor a formal reprimand. Just 11% say no disciplinary action should be taken.
Horowitz’ more than 400-page report was sent to the Department of Justice and the FBI for criminal review, according to the inspector general’s testimony last week.
“What we ultimately decided was that the conduct here warranted sending the entire report to the FBI and the Department for review for review from the line agent all the way to the top of people who were still at the FBI,” Horowitz told Senate Judiciary Committee.
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