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Should Trump Still Investigate Clinton?

President-elect Donald Trump in a TV interview Sunday night appeared to back away from a campaign vow to name a special prosecutor to investigate defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information while secretary of State. Most voters think he should drop the idea, but a sizable majority of Republicans disagree.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 41% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the Trump administration should continue to investigate Clinton and her closest aides for possible criminal activity, but 52% think it should end any such investigations. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Nearly two-out-of-three Republicans (65%), however, feel the incoming GOP administration should keep investigating Clinton and her closest aides. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Democrats want it to end those investigations. Voters not affiliated with either major party are almost evenly divided.

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FBI Director James Comey in July said Clinton had put classified information at risk with her unauthorized use of a private e-mail server during her time as secretary of State but concluded that there was insufficient evidence to seek a felony indictment. Trump and Republicans cried cover-up; Clinton and the Democrats said she had been exonerated. The FBI reopened its investigation less than two weeks before Election Day following the discovery of thousands of previously unseen e-mails but closed it several days later, saying there were still no grounds for a Clinton indictment. Clinton now blames the FBI, though, for costing her the election.

But 60% of all voters agreed with the FBI’s decision to go public about its reopening of the Clinton investigation.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 13-14, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters think it’s likely Clinton broke the law by sending and receiving e-mails containing classified information through a private e-mail server while serving as secretary of State. In a survey in October just before the FBI reopened the case, 53% said Clinton should have been indicted.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of women say the Trump administration should drop the Clinton investigation, compared to 49% of men.

Those 40 and older are more likely than younger voters to say the new administration should continue the investigation.

An overwhelming 80% of black voters say the Trump administration should not investigate Clinton. Whites and other minority voters are closely divided on the question.

The FBI’s decision to reopen the investigation was based on the discovery of thousands of e-mails, many of which appear to be among the more than 30,00 e-mails Clinton and her staff chose to delete and not turn over to investigators. Sixty-two percent (62%) of all voters think it's likely Clinton and her staff deleted those e-mails to hide something incriminating from the FBI.

Most voters think Democrats should work with Trump once he’s in the White House, but Democrats strongly disagree.

Trump in a “60 Minutes” interview on CBS Sunday night made it clear that Obamacare and the U.S. Supreme Court are high on his list of action items, and voters think that’s a good place to start.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 13-14, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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