The American people largely approve of Attorney General Bill Barr’s efforts to drop the federal government’s case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a new poll found, according to The Hill.
A narrow 51% majority of Americans agreed with the decision, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll cited by The Hill.
Americans weigh in
The Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to drop its case against Flynn, President Donald Trump’s first National Security adviser, earlier this month, arguing that his FBI interview in January of 2017 was not justified, as The New York Times reported.
Barr’s decision has brought predictable backlash from the media and the many on the left, who have characterized the move as a deeply unusual attempt to “politicize” the Justice Department for President Trump’s benefit. Going by the media coverage, one would think that Barr’s move is hugely polarizing — and it is somewhat, although most are on Barr’s side.
According to the poll, which was conducted on May 13 and 14, 51% of Americans agreed with Barr’s decision, and 49% were against it, The Hill reported. Over 1,800 voters weighed in.
The effort to dismiss the case was put on hold last week when the judge in the case, Emmet Sullivan, appointed a retired judge to review the matter and weigh perjury charges against Flynn, Politico reported.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators at first before seeking to withdraw his plea earlier this year, as Politico noted.
In recent days, it has come to light that FBI agents mused about whether they should “get [Flynn] to lie,” according to a separate report from The Hill, and that top Obama administration officials sought to “unmask” him during the presidential transition, raising speculation that Flynn was a political target, as NPR reported.
It may indeed be a sign of just how influential the media is that a shocking 47% of Americans said they opposed the DOJ’s move despite learning more about how the FBI handled the case, The Hill noted. However, 53% said they were more inclined to side with Barr after learning more about Flynn’s treatment.
“Partisan,” not “fact-based”
For his part, Mark Penn, director of Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, told The Hill that the case is “highly partisan” — and shockingly revealed that almost half the population “thinks [Flynn] was charged with” Russia collusion, which is not true.
“[The] public narrowly sided with the Justice Department’s actions on Gen. Flynn but increased their support when told about some of the facts surrounding the motion to dismiss the case,” he said, according to The Hill. “It has become highly partisan rather than fact-based as nearly half the voters think he was charged with colluding or coordinating with Russia.”
It all begs the question: is this really controversial — or is it all the result of the media’s partisan games?