Majority of Americans Believe FBI Officials Should Be Prosecuted for Promoting False Trump-Russia Claims
A new poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports has found that a strong majority of U.S. likely voters believe that FBI officials who promoted false claims about then-candidate Donald Trump colluding with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign should be criminally prosecuted.
— Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen_Poll) May 30, 2023
The results of the survey released last Thursday showed that 59 percent thought that FBI officials involved with the scandal should face criminal penalties, while 23 percent did not and 18 percent were not sure. The poll was conducted from May 21 to 23 among 1,013 likely voters. The margin of error was +/- 3 percent.
John Durham’s Report
The survey was conducted just days after the release of special counsel John Durham’s report on May 15. Durham’s over 300-page report concluded that the Department of Justice and FBI lacked the necessary evidence to launch their 2016 investigation into the Trump campaign, called “Crossfire Hurricane,” over alleged collusion with Russia.
“Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we conclude that the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report,” the document stated.
“Our investigation also revealed that senior FBI personnel displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor towards the information that they received, especially information received from politically affiliated persons and entities,” Durham’s report added.
“This information in part triggered and sustained Crossfire Hurricane and contributed to the subsequent need for Special Counsel [Robert] Mueller’s investigation.
“In particular, there was significant reliance on investigative leads provided or funded (directly or indirectly) by [Donald] Trump’s political opponents,” the report said.
Indictments and Trials
Durham indicted three people for alleged criminal wrongdoing: former Clinton attorney Michael Sussmann in September 2021, Democratic political operative Igor Danchenko in November 2021 and former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith in August 2020, Fox News reported.
Sussmann and Danchenko were found not guilty in their trials, which both took place in the Washington, D.C., area. Clinesmith pleaded guilty in August 2020 to changing information on a FISA warrant application and was sentenced to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service.
Loss of Jobs
Several officials who had been involved directly or indirectly with the Trump-Russia probe lost their jobs. Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was also fired in March 2018 following a DOJ inspector general’s report finding that he had leaked information to the media in the fall of 2016 and then lied about it to federal agents on multiple occasions.
Others who lost or were forced out of their jobs include former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and former DOJ official Bruce Ohr.
It is clear that the American people are demanding accountability for the actions of FBI officials who promoted false claims about then-candidate Donald Trump colluding with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. The Durham report and subsequent indictments and trials have shed light on the lack of analytical rigor and political bias that plagued the investigation. It remains to be seen what further consequences will befall those involved in this scandal.
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