FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to seek a criminal indictment of Hillary Clinton over her misuse of a private e-mail server as secretary of State has brought out some pronounced reactions among American voters.
“Many critics of the FBI’s decision claim that lower-level individuals caught mishandling classified information have been subject to prosecution and severe penalties. But 81 percent of all voters believe powerful people get preferential treatment when they break the law. Just 10 percent disagree,” stated a new Rasmussen Reports survey of likely U.S. voters released Wednesday.
The majority of American voters also disagree with with Mr. Comney’s decision: 54 percent of the voters say the judgement was in error and believe the FBI should have sought a criminal indictment of Mrs. Clinton.
There are partisan divides: 64 percent of Democrats agree with Mr. Comey’s decision not to seek an indictment of their party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans, and 63 percent of voters not affiliated with either major political party disagree.
The FBI itself still remains in good standing with the public, however. The poll also found that 62 percent give the federal agency a favorable review.
The survey also cited some telling history in its analysis, referring to previous Rasmussen Reports findings released six months ago.
“Voters predicted months ago what the FBI would decide,” the analysis said, noting that 65 percent of voters said Mrs. Clinton broke the law by sending and receiving e-mails containing classified information through a private e-mail server while serving as secretary of State. “But just 25 percent said in January that is was even somewhat likely that she would be charged with a felony.”