More than half of the nation, 63 percent, want the FBI to face some form of punishment for weaponizing its power against the American people to achieve political goals, a new poll from Issues & Insights and TIPP suggests.
The FBI’s years-long malfeasance — which includes misleading Congress, covering up corruption, manufacturing scandals, raiding the home of a former president, targeting innocent people based on their moral and political beliefs, and interfering in elections — is no secret to the majority of Americans who know the U.S. has a two-tiered system of justice.
The agency’s laundry list of deeply rooted corruption became even more obvious in recent weeks after Special Counsel John Durham confirmed there was never any evidence to sustain the agency’s “seriously flawed” Crossfire Hurricane investigation of “collusion” between then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russia.
Of the 1,358 respondents surveyed between May 31 and June 2, mere weeks after the Durham report surfaced, 39 percent said they want the FBI to be “reformed by Congress to keep it from meddling in future elections.”
Americans’ widespread contempt for the politicized federal agency is not exclusive to one voting bloc. Overall 75 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of Democrats, and 57 percent of independents appear to understand that the FBI is a threat to the nation that must be addressed with some form of retribution or rehabilitation.
Only 15 percent of Americans believe the FBI should be “left alone” because it has already “learned its lesson.”
The desire to “shut down” the FBI is stronger among Republicans, 37 percent of whom said they want to see the agency torn down and then “rebuilt from scratch.” Only 14 percent of Democrats agreed that the FBI should be completely revamped. In total, 24 percent of Americans believe the FBI should face a forced collapse because it “can’t be trusted to do its job.”
Blue voters may not be fully on board with annihilating the FBI, but nearly half, 45 percent, said they think a congressional overhaul of the agency is a good idea. Approximately 39 percent of Republican voters said they would be satisfied with a Congress-led purge of the nation’s principal federal law enforcement agency.
Americans’ frustrations with their weaponized government have grown increasingly evident over the last year. Approximately 58 percent of registered voters said last summer that Attorney General Merrick Garland should enforce federal law prohibiting protests at the homes of Supreme Court justices following the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, while Garland was busy prosecuting his political opponents instead. Mere weeks after the FBI’s partisan raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in August 2022, nearly half of independents confessed that the Department of Justice and the FBI “are too political, corrupt, and not to be trusted.”
Ever since they took back the House in the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans have followed through on their promise to expose the partisan inner workings of the Department of Justice and its primary enforcement arm.
GOP-led investigations into FBI duplicity are technically making good progress. Yet, as this poll demonstrates, committee hearings, letter-writing campaigns, press conferences, and empty promises to defund the agency are not what the majority of Americans want when it comes to holding the government accountable.
Until Congress enacts concrete reform, the FBI’s partisan targeting of Americans, reported retaliation against whistleblowers, and excessive stonewalling will continue while Americans’ desires are ignored by their sworn representatives.