Local experts react to Comey’s firing

Local News

ERIE, Pa. — The country is reacting after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday as the agency investigates allegations of improper ties between the White House and Russia.

“It’s just a continuation of a presidency that has a lot of chaos and turmoil associated with it,” said political analyst David Kozak, Ph.D.

Moments before speaking at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church’s “Speak Boldly: Engaging Our Community” lecture series, Kozak said the firing is part of a series of missteps.

“What works in these kinds of scandals is get it all out and get some kind of credible panel to investigate it,” he said.

A change of directors has no bearing on investigations, according to former FBI investigator Jerry Clark, Ph.D.

“The director is in charge of the agency, but the investigators do the investigation. And they will fight as diligently as they can to get to the truth,” said Clark, an assistant professor of the criminal justice program at Gannon University. “If there is something there related to our president, they will get to it.”

The the firing is likely based on recommendations from recently-confirmed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he said.

Clark is confident that there will be a qualified replacement, because “there’s a lot of talented people even within the FBI that could be promoted or brought up. There’s certainly talented people from outside of the FBI with terrific experience in the Department of Justice.”

Opinions remain strong across the board.

“If you belong to the president’s party, you’re going to say: ‘There’s no big here. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.’ If you’re of the opposition party, you’re going to say: ‘this is the worst scandal you could ever imagine,'” said Kozak.

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