WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - In the wake of a Department of Justice (DOJ) report exposing anti-Trump bias inside the FBI, a new Rasmussen Reports survey indicates a majority of Americans — and in particular, Trump's religious backers — believe federal law enforcement officers broke the law in an attempt to prevent his election to the presidency.
During the 2016 presidential race, the FBI assigned the same agents who were examining Hillary Clinton's email improprieties to investigate allegations of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
In his report on the irregularity, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz stated: "We were surprised to learn that FBI leadership decided to assign many of the key members of the Midyear team, immediately after determining that no charges should be brought against then-candidate Clinton, to the Russia investigation, which touched upon the campaign of then-candidate Trump."
"This is particularly so given the questions being raised by candidate Trump and his supporters regarding the declination decision in the Midyear investigation," he said. "While we recognize that staffing decisions are for management to make, we question the judgment of assigning agents who had just determined that one candidate running in an election should not be prosecuted to an investigation that relates to the campaign of the other candidate in the election."
Days after the DOJ report went public, Rasmussen asked 1,000 likely voters how closely they were following Horowitz's investigation of the FBI and polled their thoughts on how likely it is senior agents broke the law in an attempt to keep Trump from winning the White House in 2016.
Rasmussen's data reveals that respondents who are most familiar with the report are most convinced that wrongdoing occurred. Of those polled, 79 percent said they've closely followed the inspector general's investigation, with 44 percent saying they're following the case "very closely."
The poll reveals that conservatives are following the investigation more closely than liberals and moderates. Overall, those most familiar with the report are most convinced that wrongdoing occurred.
Seventy-five percent of conservatives think it's likely FBI officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Trump's election, with 55 percent saying it is "very likely" wrongdoing occurred. Among liberals, the figures were 25 percent and 17 percent, respectively.
Likewise, among voters who "strongly approve" of the president's job performance, 90 percent think it's "likely" that authorities broke the law, with 78 percent telling Rasmussen it's "very likely" that wrongdoing occurred. Among those who "strongly disapprove" of Trump's performance, the figures were 13 percent and seven percent, respectively.
The data suggest that committed U.S. faithful are sensitive to attempts to undermine Trump. Just as Clinton had the backing of the irreligious Left, the commander-in-chief enjoys strong support among conservative Christians. And though relatively few believe Trump shares their religious devotion, they recognize that attacks on the president are ultimately a threat to them — to their core ideals and way of life.
Trump is recognized as a defender of his Christian constituency. As The Washington Post columnist Mark A. Thiessen notes, "During the 2016 campaign, Trump pledged to defend religious liberty, stand up for unborn life and appoint conservative jurists to the Supreme Court and federal appeals courts. And he has done exactly what he promised."
"He is a deeply flawed man," Thiessen adds. "But Trump has shown one moral quality as president that deserves admiration: He keeps his promises."
"A political movement fundamentally is about advancing public policies that align with its preferences," observes USA Today contributor Mark J. Rozell. "And to be very clear: Never has the religious right had such a strong friend and reliable supporter on policy in the White House as Trump. Not Ronald Reagan and not either of the Bushes."