According to the AP, President Trump fired acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates last night (January 30th) after she had hours earlier publicly questioned the constitutionality of his controversial traveler, immigration and refugee ban and directed Justice Department attorneys not to defend it.
Yates, a holdover from former President Barack Obama‘s administration, had said, “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. 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.”
But in a statement announcing the extraordinary move of firing Yates, Trump accused her of having, quote,
“betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.”
He named Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to replace Yates, and Boente rescinded her directive. Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, is still awaiting confirmation. If and when he’s confirmed, he’ll almost certainly legally defend the executive order, which temporarily bans entry into the U.S. for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days, suspends the entire refugee program for 120 days, and indefinitely bans refugees from Syria.
Meanwhile, after protests took place at airports across the country over the weekend over the executive order, former President Barack Obama spoke out Monday for the first time since leaving office, saying in a statement released through a spokesman that he’s, quote, “heartened” by the civic engagement he’s seeing around the country. The statement said,
“Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”
The statement didn’t specifically address Trump’s executive order, but said Obama, quote,
“fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
President Drumpf is going to kill us all.
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