Harvard CAPS-Harris publishes a poll that shows that the majority of US voters are “concerned” about the FBI’s role in influencing future elections.
A great majority of American voters have expressed worries regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) possible interference in future presidential elections, according to a poll published by Harvard CAPS-Harris.
The poll showed that 70% of respondents were either very or somewhat concerned about the interference of intelligence agencies, including the FBI, in elections.
At the same time, 71% said the reforms implemented after 2016 did not manage to curb intrusions and that a wider range of reforms is needed to safeguard elections.
The publications come just after the Durham Report showed that the FBI’s investigation in 2016 into the Trump-Russia probe was unjustified.
In a 306-page report, special counsel John Durham determined that the FBI had not held “actual evidence” of collaboration between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia before launching the investigation.
Durham – who was designated by then-Attorney General William Barr in 2019 – said the FBI was acting based on “raw, unanalyzed and uncorroborated intelligence” in his report.
The report also noted that the investigation of Donald Trump was handled quite differently by the FBI than other sensitive cases, most notably the one which involved Hillary Clinton; Trump’s opponent in the 2016 presidential election.
The Harvard CAPS-Harris poll showed that 69% of respondents were “not surprised” that the FBI violated the law when it started the Trump probe.
Republicans and Independents in large said that they were not surprised — 79% and 75% respectively — while the majority of Democrats answered the same at 55%, a percentage much lesser than the formers.
Since taking the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, Republicans have increased their attacks against the FBI, as they created a committee to review the “weaponization of the Federal Government.”
The committee is meant to investigate the “expansive role” of the executive branch to “collect information on or otherwise investigate citizens of the United States, including ongoing criminal investigations.”
Commenting on the issue of FBI violations, Trump said on his social media platform, Truth Social, that the Durham Report unmasked that the “American public was scammed.”
The former US President cited the report’s conclusion that there had been a lack of shreds of evidence to warrant a full investigation by the FBI.
The Bureau was also criticized for its investigative work on the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, and the protests that erupted in 2020 after the killing of George Floyd 2020. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees the work of US secret agencies, released parts of its court order on Friday which stated that FBI officials violated their own standards when investigating the two events.
Patrick Toomey, deputy director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said, “These unlawful searches undermine our core constitutional rights and threaten the bedrock of our democracy. It’s clear the FBI can’t be left to police itself.”