Washington, D.C. – A new poll reveals that the majority of the American public believes the Obama administration’s national security apparatus “improperly surveilled” then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign staff, according to the latest Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP poll.
The public survey showed that more than half of those surveyed would also like to see a second special prosecutor appointed to investigate potential impropriety on the part of the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI in relation to spying on the Trump team.
The poll suggests that some Americans don’t necessarily believe the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, and instead, perceive Obama’s law enforcement and intelligence bureaucracy as potentially complicit in engaging in political espionage.
Respondents of the IBD/TIPP public opinion poll were asked:
“How closely are you following news stories about the role played by the FBI and the Department of Justice during the 2016 presidential election?”
Responses were only considered from the 72% of individuals that noted they were either “very closely” (39%) or “somewhat closely” (33%).
Of those respondents, 55% said they thought it was “likely” that the Obama administration “improperly surveilled the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.” There was clearly a partisan divide in the responses, with 87% of Republicans, but only 31% of Democrats, believing improper surveillance occurred— but interestingly, some 55% of independents believed the political spying allegations.
When asked whether it was necessary to appoint a second special counsel to “investigate whether the FBI and the Department of Justice improperly surveilled the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election,” a majority of respondents (54%) answered “yes,” – with 44% responding “no.” This time, 74% of Republicans, 50% of independents, and surprisingly, even 44% of Democrats thought appointing a second special counsel was necessary.
Public bipartisan agreement on appointing a second special counsel for a full investigation of Obama-era political espionage could potentially spell trouble for many high-ranking security officials, especially if the special counsel is afforded similar latitude to investigate as seen in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion investigation.
The survey also asked whether individuals believed that “some senior career civil servants at the FBI and Department of Justice knowingly coordinated to frame the president with allegations of Russian collusion in order to cast a cloud over his presidency.”
The Investors Business Daily reports that 35% of respondents answered “yes” to this question – while 60% answered “no.” This question had the largest partisan divide – with 77% of Republicans saying yes, and only 11% of Democrats responding no.
Interestingly, only 30% of independents thought that elements within DOJ and FBI colluded to frame Trump for Russian collusion, which may be semi-surprising given the fact that 55 percent answered that it was “likely” that Obama-era officials “improperly surveilled the Trump campaign during the 2016 election” and 50 percent thought it necessary to appoint a second special counsel to “investigate whether the FBI and the Department of Justice improperly surveilled the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
Of note, a recently-released Rasmussen poll revealed a full 50 percent of Americans “believe it’s at least somewhat likely senior federal law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidency,” while 40 percent disagreed.
The results of these polls indicate that a segment of the American public doesn’t believe the narrative that Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election, and would like a full investigation into whether or not political espionage was undertaken by elements of the Obama administration in an effort to handicap Trump’s presidential candidacy and presidency.