ABC/WASHINGTON POST POLL: 56 Percent of Voters Believe That Hillary Clinton Should Have Been Charged After FBI Investigation

Hillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziIn a surprising poll by ABC and the Washington Post, a majority of Americans disapprove of the FBI’s recommendation not to charge Hillary Clinton with a crime over her mishandling of emails as secretary of state. Moreover, a majority say that the scandal has left them uncertain and worried about her ability to be president.

The poll still shows Democrats more likely to give Clinton the benefit of the doubt, but Independents show the same hardened view as Republicans. That is a matter of concern for the Clinton camp. Clinton has relied on the hardest core Democrats (and the DNC leadership) to guarantee her nomination. However, she now needs to secure the Independent vote, particularly given the alienation from her showed in polls for groups like white males.

Overall, 56 percent disapprove of FBI Director James Comey’s recommendation not to charge Clinton, while just 35 percent approve. Similarly, 57 percent say the incident makes them worried about how Clinton might act as president if she is elected, with most very worried about it. Just 39 percent feel the issue isn’t related to how she would perform as president. Those are truly horrible numbers for a presidential candidate going into a political convention.

Notably, the 35 and 39 percent seems to reflect Clinton’s hardcore base numbers. Once again, she is fortunate thus far to be running against Donald Trump who equals her in negative polling numbers. The two candidates now stand as the least popular in U.S. history to run for the presidency.  The latest poll shows a statistical dead heat with Clinton’s lead shrinking to just three points over Trump.

107 thoughts on “ABC/WASHINGTON POST POLL: 56 Percent of Voters Believe That Hillary Clinton Should Have Been Charged After FBI Investigation

  1. JayS,
    I read the transcript, too. This is what I read:

    “For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).

    None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.”

    For Top Secret emails to be on her server either she or her aides had to copy them from the secure server. When those emails were copied, their Top Secret identification did not go with them (they weren’t marked). The FBI went back to the originating (owning) department to see if they ought to have been.

    I agree that this most transparent administration ever (just trying to outdo the transparency of previous admins) classifies far too many documents that need not be. That said, I find it unlikely for items marked Top Secret. I am also not sure of the classification of the 18 emails for which President Obama claimed Executive Priviledge.

  2. @Jim22

    I read Isaac’s reply, and it was very nice of him to write such a long answer, but I am not at all sure what he said. Maybe just he thinks Trump is dangerous even though Trump stands for many of the same things that he and other progressives stand for??? Which makes no sense to me.

    I think some people just plain won’t vote a Republican no matter what.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. Prairie Rose –
    The text you cite clearly states that “matters” were classified, not that the emails were classified. But the text does not say CLASSIFIED BY WHOM. By someone in the State Department? By the FBI ? By some other governmental department? I am still waiting for someone to knowledgeably indicate exactly who within the Department of State has ultimate classification authority within that department. (I suspect it is probably the Secretary of State) As I noted in another reply earlier, classification is at many times subjective, and opinions vary greatly. If somebody somewhere in the government thinks that something is classified, is that binding on everyone in government, at every level? Who decides? It is way too simplistic to assert that something is either classified or it isn’t.

    Suppose (for example) that someone learned that “Putin wears green boxer shorts,” and mentions that in an email to Hillary. Hillary forwards this tidbit, and includes it in emails that she generates. But meanwhile, someone in the State Department or the FBI or elsewhere decides that this information is Secret or Top Secret. Does that mean that Hillary has violated security?

    This is a substantial practical problem in government. If every email has to be vetted for security by countless reviewers, in many agencies, how would anything ever get done? Perhaps this is the basis for Turley’s view that all government correspondence should be classified. But that has its own practical impediments, and nothing would still get done.

    Of course, this is legalistic discussion is somewhat separate from the main spirit of this chain of comments voiced by many, which seems to be “How can we nail Hillary (at last).”

  4. For those who are now out for Comey’s hide for “selling out” (or worse), keep in mind that part of his rationale for not recommending the case for prosecution is that he is not at all sure that such a case would be winnable in court. It is not at all likely that Squeeky and Ralph and Patriot and Paul Nick would all be empaneled for the jury.

  5. JayS,
    “I am still waiting for someone to knowledgeably indicate exactly who within the Department of State has ultimate classification authority within that department.”

    That is a good question and one I cannot answer. Perhaps Professor Turley will take up this question in the next installment of this saga.

    Regarding the “matters”, if the matters being discussed in the emails were Top Secret then the emails should have been, too. He says as much:

    “There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.”

  6. @Jay S

    I don’t buy Comey’s explanation at all. Sure you would have a problem convicting a celebrity. Look at O.J. Simpson. But the “problems” which a prosecutor is supposed to consider are not that kind of “problem” at all – – – they go to the nature of the criminal act, not the identity of the person.

    But when you have a per se type of “negligence” crime, then the “mens rea” element is not necessary, thus making prosecution easier. This is why DWI is a hard and fast .008 standard, and not “driving while drunk.” It is hard sometimes to prove someone is drunk, but much easier to meet the .008 standard. You don’t need “intent”, just the BAC level. Same here for HRC.

    Hillary was negligent at a minimum, and there would have been no need to prove “intent.” Comey is thus full of poop. Criminy, Comey laid out the elements of a negligence basis. Not to mention the acts of exfoliation and open lying to Congress. Sheeesh, this is nothing but special treatment for Hillary. Which means the problems he is concerned with are “identity” problems.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  7. One other point that has not been raised in this chain of comments:

    Hillary’s emails were either received from or sent to her colleagues within the State Department and perhaps elsewhere in the government. I have heard that she had something like dozens and perhaps a few hundred correspondents at work.

    Now, if the issue is only to do with the sanctity and safeguarding of classified material, I would think that a great many staffers within the State Department would be as involved as Hillary, just as a matter of legal principle. Yet I have not heard any clamor for a massive criminal indictment of scores of government workers. Or a clamor for a massive revocation of security clearances of those involved.

    Why not? If I were cynical, I might think that this whole brouhaha is an exercise to Get Hillary. (Of course, if scores of upper level State Department staffers were purged, it might cripple the ability of the State Department to function effectively, at least for awhile. But what would that matter if we can at least Get Hillary?)

    “Cynicism is the world view that explains the most facts, with the least effort.”

  8. @Jay S

    Eau De Contraire!, as the French say! (Which means in French, “the opposite of perfume”— or that something stinks.) “Cynicism” is what you get when the FBI and DOJ ignores, and then explains, the whole “separate server” in her house thingie. Comey said it best, when he said, and I quote:

    “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”

    Yeah. Let’s see someone, not a Democrat, do something like this and see what happens. I think your problem is that you can’t see the forest for the trees, and thus you have deconstructed this down to the “it depends on what the meaning of “is” is” level. Hmmm. Bill and Hillary could use a man of your talents!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  9. JayS
    “Now, if the issue is only to do with the sanctity and safeguarding of classified material, I would think that a great many staffers within the State Department would be as involved as Hillary, just as a matter of legal principle. Yet I have not heard any clamor for a massive criminal indictment of scores of government workers. Or a clamor for a massive revocation of security clearances of those involved.”

    The buck stops with her because she was the head of the State Department. However, I do think others should be in hot water. Massive government investigation? Sounds good to me, even if it goes all the way to the top.

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