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Pres. Trump fires acting AG Sally Yates after she declines to defend travel ban

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates Monday night, January 30th for “refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” the White House said.

“(Yates) has betrayed the Department of Justice,” the White House statement said.

Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, was sworn in at 9 p.m. ET, per an administration official. A few hours later, Boente issued a statement rescinding Yates’ order, instructing DOJ lawyers to “defend the lawful orders of our President.”

President Trump didn’t call Yates to dismiss her, she was informed by hand-delivered letter, according to a different administration official.

The dramatic move came soon after CNN reported Yates told Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments defending President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees.

The move set up a clash between the White House and Yates, who was appointed by President Barack Obama and was set to serve until Sen. Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s nominee for attorney general, if confirmed.

“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,” she said in a letter. “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.”

President Trump’s executive order, signed Friday, January 27th bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days, suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely suspends the Syrian refugee program. Yates’ decision came amid a flood of protests against the executive order nationwide and after four federal judges ruled against President Trump’s order, staying its impact on people who were detained at US airports over the weekend.

President Trump tweeted his response shortly after the news broke, saying Democrats have stymied Sessions’ confirmation, enabling Yates.

“The Democrats are delaying my cabinet picks for purely political reasons. They have nothing going but to obstruct. Now have an Obama A.G.,” he said.

“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,” Yates wrote.

Yates’ decision was always likely to be extremely short-lived as Sessions is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

White House policy director Stephen Miller, who helped craft the executive order, called Yates’ decision “a further demonstration of how politicized our legal system has become.”

“It’s sad that our politics have become so politicized, that you have people refusing to enforce our laws,” Miller said Monday night on MSNBC.

Miller also defended the executive order’s legality, insisting that the Immigration and Nationality Act gives the President “the ability to exclude any class of would-be visitors or immigrants to our country based on our national security interests.”

But the decision didn’t face the same criticism from Rep. Pete Sessions, a top House Republican, who said Yates’ decision was likely similar “to an evaluation that we made.”

“And that was it did not appear to be specific in nature,” Sessions said referring to the executive order. “So it may be a matter of clarity it may be a matter of illegality to him, it may be a matter of several things. It did not look as complete and succinct as what I think I would’ve wanted.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, praised Yates for standing up “on principle.”

“In all my years as a member of Congress, which now is 21, I’ve met so many very principled people who truly believe in the Constitution and doing what is right,” Cummings said. “There comes a time when people, no matter who may be their boss, they stand upon their principles, so at the end of the day they can look them selves in the mirror and say ‘I synchronized my conduct with my conscience.’ And Yates is such a person.”

Currently, there are cases filed in at least five states including Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Washington and California that are challenging President Trump’s order.

The decision effectively grounds the executive order for the next few days until Sessions is sworn in.

“This will be moot. Then we will very much see the Trump Justice Department led by Jeff Sessions defend this executive order pretty vigorously. And then it will be up to the courts,” said Steve Vladeck, a CNN contributor and law professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

In a written statement, Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch lauded Yates, calling her leadership “courageous.”

“(Yates) displayed the fierce intellect, unshakeable integrity, and deep commitment to the rule of law,” Lynch said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told CNN’s Erin Burnett Monday the Justice Department decision reflects poorly on President Trump’s administration.

“When you do something as important as this, it can’t be a Twitter-type of activity,” Schumer said. “This has to be thoroughly vetted … and it’s a very bad omen for this presidency.”

Activists who have led the fight against President Trump’s immigration ban lauded Yates’ action Monday night.

“We took to the court room, people took to the streets and now principled federal officials are drawing a hardline on this shameful and unconstitutional act by President Trump. This is what we rely on the Department of Justice for, to uphold the rule of law no matter how the political wind is blowing,” said Karen Tumlin, the National Immigration Law Center’s legal director.

Lee Gelernt, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who argued against the immigration ban in court in New York, praised Yates’ decision and called on the next attorney general to “continue with that policy.”

“This ban will do irreparable damage to real people and to American values,” he said.


  • Barbara Melamed

    Congratulations Sally Yates…you have polarized our viewpoint that the Trump administration is acting against our Democracy.

    • Mike

      The U.S.A. is a Constitutional Democratic Republic. Education is a good thing, but a little education makes people think they know it all!

    • Mike

      SIgh, oh ye trumpies of little education. The U.S. is a Constitutional Democratic Republic. Look it up! We are a democracy – all citizens can vote and a majority wins, but the minority is protected with provisions spelled out in a constitution. It is a simple concept. Get it right and stop perpetuating the myth that we are not a democracy. Rush is wrong!

    • Clayton KaEleu Von Isaacs

      Ahh no Mike. The U.S.A. is not a “Constitutional Democratic Republic” When BENJAMIN FRANKLIN—at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation, someone asked him: Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

      BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

      Education is a good thing. Maybe you should research before you say anything. We are just a Republic. You know, as in “And to the Republic, for which it stands” No Constitutional Democratic anything in it.

  • rootsgal

    This is why everyone is walking on eggshells around Commander Trump. If you do not nod at every word spoken, YOU’RE FIRED! #ResistTrumpTuesdays #MoveOn

  • noel mattsons (@noelmattsons)

    Thank you President Trump! The American People are with you!
    I can’t believe this is happening- a president that is actually acting on campaign promises! God bless President Trump!
    Americans have spoken! We want our jobs and country back! Our healthcare is too expensive. Mine is $600/month now (AND RISING!). My car insurance is still $25 per month (from Insurance Panda), but who knows when our increasingly socialist government will come in and muddle that up? Things are getting more and more expensive as it is. Can we really afford to support the world’s homeless?

    • N

      I think Mr. Trump wanted to make sure the facts were correct before firing her… one can not rely on CNN’s reports… They are fake news!! Go Mr. Trump. God bless

  • StrikeEagle15

    Sally Yates – you were the Democrats last hope for someone on their side and you just shot yourself in the ass… If you were that constipated may i suggest a gentle laxative…. its less painful!!

  • Opinion8d

    Awesome!! Can anyone imagine if a Bush holdover did the same to Obama??? The Media questions every move by Trump but yet didn’t question a thing that Obama or Hillary did in the last 8 years. Yeah, they’re not biased…..smh!! And they still aren’t ‘hearing’ those who voted for Trump! People are fed up – the SILENT MAJORITY!!!

  • tired of PC

    How about donating to the American homeless, kids and Veterans in this country. That is why we send MILLIONS in Aid to the Syrian Refugees and have safe places for them. If HOLLYWOOD is so worried about all these Refugees why don’t they let some of them stay in their Million $homes. They have plenty of Money and Room. So keep your hard earned money to help AMERICANS that truly need your money. If you don’t like it here. By all means LEAVE. See this is a free country so you can go at anytime.

  • StrikeEagle15

    Its not a permanent Ban on immigrants dufus… its a 120 day hold until a better system for venting infiltrated terrorist are i.d. Think of it as hitting the pause button. And for your stupid information.. all the ones (109 out of 325K) have been released into American population. Please be educated before you leave such an uneducated comment.

    • 4chantroll

      and where was all this outrage when President Obama did the same thing in 2011, but for six months with the very same countries?
      Next time before you post, think first about whether you are an appropriate person to judge whether the attorney general of the United States is competent or not.

    • Harold

      She did not believe in the order because her previous boss had no respect for the rule of law. That is obvious.

  • John

    Where does she get off going against our president? The next person I want to see fired is the attorney general for my state being Washington state that wants to sue Trump over the ban. I hope this person gets fired immediately!

  • deleted again

    Sorry America but what we witnessed in the last eight years was the decline of the USA as a moral and economic superpower. You voted for a president with the ability to run an honest campaign that beat a lifetime criminal. The USA has lost all diplomatic power in the last eight years.You do realize that this can only improve what the Democrats have destroyed.

    • 4chantroll

      aww, because it’s Trump doing this, its unfair and cruel. Obama did this in 2011, or does your progressive memory not go back that far?

      • deleted again

        Please reread my post and you’ll find we are on the same page. Then go up several posts and read the post by windfarmsaregood

  • Sylvia Kraus

    No way. We have veterans that are homeless and not getting the medical/surgical care they. In addition we have many senior citizens ding without ordered medications and help with at home care. These people are taxpaying citizens and the veterans have protected our country.

  • James

    Yates didn’t want to work anymore and wanted to go down as sort of a legal martyr. She is an Obama appointee so we know how she leans politcally. Good that Trump fired her so quickly. Stunning; Decisive. LIKE A BOSS! Good for him and keep identifying the traitors within the government and fire them. I wish he could do like the military in dealing with traitors and pull the stripes off her and other traitors should and tossing it to the ground.

  • D Nel

    Why aren’t all these pro Trump comments broadcasted on the news??? Liberal media brainwashing? Go Trump! Way to get things done!

    • Libsareliars

      This is why they call us the silent majority. They didn’t expect this on election night and it will happen again. Screw the media!!

  • Mary

    Elijah Cummings wouldn’t know a “principled” individual if he collided with him/her. He is one of the most unprincipled prevaricators in the House.

  • Carol

    Tell me where were all of these Democratic Congressmen hiding when Obama did the same thing President Trump just did? Obama’s ban was for 6 months, President Trump’s ban is only for 120 day’s. For our safety it is common sense to make sure we have a good vetting system in place. Mostly all of the people coming into our country are good people but remember it only takes one bad person who can kill hundreds if not thousands of people. Should we just close our eye’s & let that one person into our country? It pay’s to be safe than sorry. I support President Trump’s temporary plan.

  • Maria

    GOOD! Stand your ground Mr. President, the people, at least the rational ones are behind you! Make America SAFE AGAIN!

  • Rick Steed

    This just goes to show Obama’s Administration was so corrupt. That Acting AG Sally Yates will go so low to break the laws she was sworn to uphold. And the fact she would demoralize the safety of our American citizens. She should have been fired and prosecuted, she took an oath to uphold the laws that are built around our constitution and refused!

  • You can't be serious

    When all the non-racist, non-mysoginist, non-homophobic, non-bigoted everyday ordinary people get so sick of you calling them mysoginist, homophobic, bigoted and racist they go out and vote against your candidate
    Do you
    A: Reevaluate your personal conduct and strategy convincing people to share your politics
    B: Scream homophobes, mysoginist, racist and bigots even louder
    According to my timeline, you chose B: and that’s why your candidate lost.

  • Libsareliars

    Gotta love this. It shows 53 comments but there shows only 36. I see the KGB at fox6 is busy pushing the delete button .

  • Roy W-h

    Arnold fired a gay man and a Black woman last night. The doodoo is really going to hit the fan today.
    The democrats are going to lose the freakin minds over the next 4 years

    Don’t try to stop the Trump Train, you’ll get run over

  • Roy W-h

    boohoo snowflake, it’s a tough evil world out there, your living in a bubble if you think otherwise.
    You’re not going to make it, you should go find a bridge and end it all now.

  • lovin2017sofar

    Wow ! We were talking about how if we defied our boss at work we’d be on the street. What makes the government so special, yadda yadda yadda. Now I clicked on this @ 11 am today and someone really got fired for not doing their job, or at the very least understanding it. Which in the real world gets you fired. I wonder if he did the whole point and you’re fired thing?

  • Jackson

    Democrats + illegal refuges = Future votes. Screw the fact we are 20 trillion in debt, and spend annually 1 trillion on services for illegal immigrants. These people come over on a visitor visa, blend into the woodwork, and never leave. The Obama admin sponsored NGO safe houses setup for human trafficking is staggering. Mexicans illegally send their Kids across the boarder with the help of government sponsored NGO’s to later become reunited with their families in some US city and collect benefits. And what do we get out of the deal? Illegal votes, Mexican nationals waving mexican flags, protesting on the streets of the US demanding benefits and special privileges

  • Really

    Liberals don’t play basketball nice. They scratch and poke to get the ball, double dribble and throw the ball over their heads like sissies. Conservatives sink 3 pointers, all net all day. Sorta the same in politics.

  • tom

    First let’s get the facts correct, Ms. YATES was a political appointee , in other words she was put into that job by the Democrat President (Obama )so when the administration turn over to in new President every thing snd everyone gets a pink slip, I know this from experience, worked and lived in DC for along time.
    Now on to the real reason she got the pink slip….she refused to do her job….. So if you believe this action she took is correct, then tomorrow go to work tell your employer you will not do your job and see how that goes over….

  • Rick Steed

    Sorry your so ignorant to see things that way. The law is the law, you evidently are so used to Obama;s way you can’t stand it. We welcome to the real America and it only gets better and better #MAGA

  • Shary

    Yates was completely out of line and deserved to be fired. Insubordination from federal employees is not and should not be tolerated.

  • Lilluv

    To be honest I agree with trump… Everyone is so worried about offending other people and helping the counties outside of America that they don’t stop to think about what’s happining to our own family’s and friends and the hard working American class. People are dieing here to, people are malnourished and have no homes can’t get jobs, wellfare can only stretch so far. What are we doing for our vets? What are we doing for the elderly that can no longer work and receiving minimal help we need to stop looking g at the other places and help our own

Comments are closed.

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