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Published on January 30th, 2017 | by Claude Saravia


President Trump Fires Attorney General Sally Yates

President Trump defiantly fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she ordered Justice Department lawyers to stop defending an executive order he had issued on Saturday which temporarily suspends the U.S. refugee program and bars all immigration for citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days.

Yates was an Obama administration appointee who the President had kept in place until Senator Jeff Sessions, his permanent pick for the position, was officially confirmed by the Senate.

Immediately after the firing was announced, Trump named Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve in Yates’ place until Sessions’ confirmation, according to the AP.

“I am honored to serve President Trump in this role until Senator Sessions is confirmed. I will defend and enforce the laws of our country to ensure that our people and our nation are protected,” Boente said.

Yates issued a memo earlier in the day in which she called the executive order unlawful.

“My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts. In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right,” Yates wrote in the memo released by the department earlier Monday.

“At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful,” the acting Justice Department head said. “For as long as I am the Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.”

Yates actions were praised by immigration activists and Democrats but others criticized Yates’ memo, saying she had a legal duty to defend Trump’s executive order unless she decided there was no reasonable argument for its legality, according to Politico.

Either way, Yates was fired three hours after issuing the memo.

The White House issued a statement saying Yates betrayed the Department of Justice and called her weak on borders and illegal immigration.

“The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel,” a White House statement said. “Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”

The executive order Trump had issued on Saturday put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

President Trump tweeted his displeasure with Democrats earlier in the afternoon. The tweet seemd to be incomplete but was not followed up with a subsequent tweet.

The president’s swift action was praised by his supporters including Newt Gingrich who said Trump’s work on The Apprentice made it easy for him to fire Yates.

In only his tenth day of office, Trump has taken political drama past House of Cards levels into new and unknown territory.

The drama is expected to continue tomorrow during Tuesday’s committee vote, which had been expected to go Sessions’ way without too much drama.

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