The majority of registered American voters believe the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was biased in its handling of investigations of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, according to a recent HarrisX poll.
Nearly two in three (62 percent) believed the FBI was biased in probing Clinton’s mishandling of classified information while using an unauthorized private email server while serving as State Secretary. Of those respondents, some 61 percent believed the FBI was biased in her favor, while 39 percent believed the bias was against her.
Similarly, 59 percent believed the investigators were biased in probing the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia, of whom some 64 percent thought the bias was against him.
Both investigations coincided with the Trump-Clinton face-off in the 2016 presidential election and both have been scrutinized by the Justice Department’s Inspector General (IG) and Congress.
The IG found that five FBI employees on the Clinton probe exchanged text and instant messages that “included statements of hostility toward then-candidate Trump and statements of support for candidate Clinton, and several appeared to mix political opinions with discussions about the [Clinton] investigation.”
“The damage caused by their actions extends far beyond the scope of the [Clinton] investigation and goes to the heart of the FBI’s reputation for neutral factfinding and political independence,” the June 14 report stated.
Moreover, the lead investigator on both the Clinton and Trump probes, Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, sent a text to his mistress, Special Counsel to the Deputy Director Lisa Page, that was “not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implied a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects,” the report stated.
However, the IG couldn’t connect the bias with specific decisions made in the Clinton investigation. A separate report on the Trump investigation is expected later this year.
Meanwhile, congressional investigators have been complaining that the Justice Department is stonewalling their work by refusing to produce large enough quantities of the requested documents.