A new poll out Wednesday shows a plurality of independents have lost faith in federal law enforcement two weeks after FBI agents raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
According to a survey from the Trafalgar Group and Convention of States Action shared exclusively with The Federalist, nearly 48 percent of independent respondents said the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI “are too political, corrupt, and not to be trusted.” Less than 44 percent said otherwise.
Republicans were most distrusting of the federal law enforcement agencies with more than 68 percent identifying the FBI and DOJ as corrupt compared to nearly 25 percent who said “they are to be respected for their pursuit of justice and law and order.”
More than 73 percent of Democrats, on the other hand, reported trust in the FBI and DOJ while nearly 20 percent said the agencies were “corrupt.”
The poll was conducted among 1,092 likely voters in the general election between Aug. 19-23 with a 2.9 percent margin of error.
“The FBI has lost the trust of half the country,” said Mark Meckler, the president of the Convention of States. “This is historically one of the most trusted law enforcement branches in America. The fact that just about half the country believes they’re not to be trusted is a radical thing.”
Voters were basically evenly split over whether the DOJ investigation into former President Trump is intended to prevent him from being on the ballot in 2024, with 48.6 percent believing that is the goal of the government and 48.5 percent saying otherwise. Three percent were unsure.
Respondents were also split over whether the two agencies were being truthful about their investigation of the former president.
Digging into the crosstabs, Meckler said, revealed troubling signs for Democrats, where more than half of black respondents, nearly 54 percent, said the FBI and DOJ were “corrupt and not to be trusted.” More than half of Hispanics surveyed, more than 55 percent, believed the DOJ’s investigation of former President Trump is politically motivated.
The fact that “traditionally Democratic constituencies” say “the FBI and DOJ is being weaponized against their political opponents,” Meckler told The Federalist, is a “very dangerous thing for Democrats in the upcoming midterms.”
The survey was conducted nearly two weeks after roughly 30 plainclothes agents executed an unprecedented raid of a former president’s residence. The search was signed off on by a federal magistrate, ostensibly regarding potential violations of the Presidential Records Act, but it possesses all the hallmarks of the routine witch hunt operations used to go after Trump from within the agency for the past six years.
Days after the raid, Attorney General Merrick Garland gave a press conference where he professed to personally signing off on the search of the president whose election neutered Garland’s Supreme Court nomination in 2017. The search, Garland said, was “narrowly scope[d],” though examination of the warrant shows authorization to confiscate any and all documents Trump may have come into contact with as president.
On Wednesday, meanwhile, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson published a whistleblower report revealing FBI leadership instructed agency staff to dismiss the Hunter Biden laptop in 2020.
“After the FBI obtained the Hunter Biden laptop from the Wilmington, DE computer shop, these whistleblowers stated that local FBI leadership told employees, ‘you will not look at that Hunter Biden laptop’ and that the FBI is ‘not going to change the outcome of the election again,’” Johnson wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Further, these whistleblowers allege that the FBI did not begin to examine the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop until after the 2020 presidential election–potentially a year after the FBI obtained the laptop in December 2019.”
Johnson’s whistleblower findings came one month after Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley published another whistleblower report accusing the FBI of similar misconduct.
Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.