CHAMPAIGN-URBANA –President Donald Trump’s recent firing of the FBI Director is sparking debate and it has people taking sides.
“Of course he doesn’t want any of the truth out, he wants his lies and that’s it,” says Marina Maretti of Urbana.
Former FBI Director James Comey was heading the investigation of the Russian’s ties to the U.S. election and whether anyone on Trump’s team was involved.
If people weren’t divided before, they definitely are now.
Some people are having a hard time keeping up with the president’s latest actions and others are seeing similarities to another president.
Comey was fired earlier this week and some say the move felt familiar to another high profile presidential removal.
Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox was fired by President Richard Nixon during the Watergate investigation in 1973.
“I remember that night, when Nixon was firing people. I remember exactly where I was when I heard all of that and it seems pretty similar to me,” says Ruth Wegman of Champaign.
Critics say the Trump administration is trying to damage the FBI’s investigation into allegations of ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, just as Nixon tried to stop lawmakers from learning the truth about his role in the Watergate Scandal.
Some supporters say more time is needed for the president.
“I just think it hasn’t been enough time for him to really get ahold of the job that he has,” says Deb Riffle of Champaign.
But time wasn’t on Comey’s side.
Days before he was fired, Comey asked the Justice Department for more prosecutors and other personnel to accelerate the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election.
The president didn’t provide further details Friday on whether he was taping conversations with Comey.
While the country may be divided on the president and his actions, everyone seems to be on the same page about the United States.
“God bless America,” states Wegman.
“I think we live in a great country, no matter who the president is and there’s a lot of great people in this country,” comments Riffle.
Comey was scheduled to appear at an Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats Thursday.
Instead, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe took his place.
Comey will not testify before Congress on Tuesday, but he was invited to the closed session.
This isn’t the first time an FBI Director was fired.
President Clinton dismissed William Sessions in 1993.
The dismissal happened after ethics issues were brought up.
A report by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility was written on Sessions’ conduct.