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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Voters favor jailing or firing senior law enforcement officials who illegally targeted President Trump, but most think they are unlikely to be punished.
The latest Rasmussen Reports survey finds that more than half (52%) of likely U.S. voters consider it likely that senior FBI officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Trump from winning the 2016 election. Thirty-nine percent think it is unlikely they broke the law.
As to the FBI atoning for their deceptive actions, slightly less than half (43%) of likely voters think FBI officials should be jailed if they are found guilty of breaking the law to prevent Trump's presidency. This percentage is up dramatically from 25% early this year.
Almost one-fourth of those surveyed think guilty law officials should just be fired.
Fifteen percent favor a formal reprimand. Only 11% say no disciplinary action should be taken.
As to the likelihood that offending FBI agents will face criminal charges, only 34% of voters believe the officials in question are likely to face criminal charges for their anti-Trump activity, with only 16% saying it's very likely. Over half (55%) see criminal prosecution of the dishonest officials as unlikely, including 24% who feel it's not at all likely.
These attitudes are essentially unchanged from two months ago, despite the recent release of a Justice Department inspector general's (IG) report detailing wrongdoing by senior law enforcement officials.
The IG report found much of the FBI's conduct "inexplicable," with chief investigator Michael Horowitz testifying that he failed to receive "satisfactory answers" from the FBI for many of its actions.
Speaking for his team, Horowitz said, "We're left trying to understand how could all these errors have occurred over a nine-month period or so, among three teams — hand-picked — the highest-profile case in the FBI, going to the very top of the organization, involving a presidential campaign."
Horowitz was asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) if former FBI Director James Comey was cleared of blame by the IG report. Horowitz responded tersely: "The activities we found here don't vindicate anybody who touched this FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act]."
The U.S. Justice Department's inspector general also concluded that Comey improperly leaked information to the media while he was serving as head of the FBI.
Horowitz also contradicted assertions that exonerated the FBI: "It's unclear what the motivations [of the FBI] were. On the one hand, gross incompetence, negligence? On the other hand, intentionality, and where in between? We weren't in a position — with the evidence we had — to make that conclusion. But I'm not ruling it out."
In an interview with James Comey, former FBI director, which aired on Fox News, Chris Wallace noted the IG report concluded that "errors in warrants for surveillance on the Trump campaign could have been mistakes or malfeasance."
Wallace confronted Comey, saying Horowitz is "saying the role of the Steele dossier is a lot more important than you let on."
Comey issued a weak mea culpa: "Okay, if I was [wrong], then I'm sorry that I did that."
The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted by phone and online on Dec. 2 and Dec. 15, 2019.