SCRANTON -- People in our area are sounding off on the president's sudden decision to ax the director of the FBI.
Among those offering thoughts are two U.S. Congressmen and a political science professor at the University of Scranton.
“The move to fire Comey will really increase the call for scrutiny of President Trump,” said Dr. Michael Allison.
Allison is the head of the political science department at the University of Scranton and says the firing of FBI Director James Comey by President Trump was not only unexpected but also mostly unprecedented.
“It's the FBI director, and again, we don't have a history of firing FBI directors. There's a reason why they have 10-year terms and they're protected from the political tides,” said Allison.
But it's the timing of the firing that’s raising some questions as Comey had reportedly just asked to expand his investigation into possible Russian tampering in the presidential election.
“It really becomes a serious issue of trust, perhaps criminal wrongdoing if they were removed to disrupt any investigation into the president,” said Allison.
U.S. Democratic Congressman Matt Cartwright agrees.
“It comes days after Comey asked for an expansion of the Russian probe, and it's hard for people not to think, 'Oh, he got fired because they wanted to shut him up,'” said Cartwright, D-17th District.
The White House denies the firing had anything to do with the Russian investigation.
U.S. Republican Congressman Lou Barletta had this statement:
“I am confident that the FBI will continue to do its job and pursue ongoing investigations in a fair and factual manner,” said Barletta, R-11th District.
Some here say Trump was right to fire Comey.
“He mishandled the email scandals and flip-flopped back and forth,” said Frank Burton of Scranton.
Others are skeptical.
“I think it makes it look very suspicious, definitely,” said Katie Reilly.
Bill Clinton was the first president to fire an FBI director. That was over alleged ethical problems with the director's personal finances.