Most Americans believe somebody at the IRS deliberately destroyed nearly two years' worth of subpoenaed emails in an attempt to obstruct the congressional investigation of the tax agency's illegal targeting of Tea Party and conservative nonprofit applicants, according to a new Rasmussen survey.
Seventy-one percent of respondents say they don't believe IRS claims that a mysterious computer crash destroyed emails to and from Lois Lerner and other high-ranking colleagues and officials outside of the agency.
Rather, the survey found, respondents think the agency deliberately destroyed the emails as part of a cover-up.
The poll, which was conducted from June 26-27, also found that two of three respondents also believe that the IRS officials involved in the scandal should either be jailed or fired.
Approximately 53 percent of respondents say they believe the IRS knowingly broke the law when improperly targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
That is a four-point increase from earlier this year, pushing the number of people who suspect wrongdoing on the IRS’ part back to September 2013 levels.
“Little changed from the early surveys are the 22% who think the IRS did not break the law. Slightly more (25%) are not sure,” Rasmussen said.
Further, a plurality of respondents said they believe the targeting scandal occurred because the IRS was looking out for President Obama.
The survey comes on the heels of Obamas' recent scoffing at Republican lawmakers for supposedly ignoring the needs of middle class Americans while pushing "phony scandals."
The Rasmussen report polled 1,000 likely voters aged 18 and older and contains a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.