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Supporters of former President Donald Trump gather outside Trump National Doral resort in Doral, Fla., on June 12, 2023.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump gather outside Trump National Doral resort in Doral, Fla., on Monday.Ricardo Arduengo / AFP - Getty Images

Trump indictment comes as Republicans have been losing faith in DOJ, FBI

The share of Republicans and Republican-leaning adults who view the FBI favorably has dropped more than 30 points in recent years.

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Former President Donald Trump's arraignment on charges related to mishandling classified information and misleading investigators is a climactic moment in a years-long trend: Republicans' opinions of the Justice Department and the FBI have dropped significantly in the years since Trump took office.

In March of 2023, the Pew Research Center found that just 38% of Republicans and Republican-leaning adults had a favorable view of the FBI, while 53% have an unfavorable view of the bureau.

That's a significant, rapid shift among Republican voters over just a few years of the Trump era. In 2018, 49% of those Republicans and Republican-leaning adults viewed the FBI favorably and 44% viewed it unfavorably.

In January of 2017, just before Trump took office, 65% of the GOP had a favorable view of the FBI and 21% had an unfavorable view.

And in 2010, 71% of Republicans had a favorable view of the FBI.

The Justice Department has seen a similar image decline among Republicans since 2018, but with a caveat: Pew polling found that Republicans and Republican-leaning adults had a similarly low view of the agency during former President Barack Obama's administration.

The March 2023 poll found 40% of Republicans and Republican-leaning adults with a favorable view of the Justice Department and 50% with an unfavorable view.

In 2018, that favorability number sat at 60%, but during the Obama administration in 2010, 44% of Republicans and GOP leaners viewed the Justice Department favorably.