President Trump fired acting attorney general Sally Q. Yates on Monday night after she refused to defend his executive order which— closed the United States’ borders to refugees and people from several Muslim countries— against any legal challenges.
The President informed Yates by hand-delivered letter, instead of a phone call according to an administration official. The White House released a statement which said:
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,” it said. Tonight, President Trump relieved Ms Yates of her duties.
The news came as a shock to Ms Yates who said in her statement
Fired Over Executive Order
Trump’s executive order was signed Friday and it bars citizens of seven Muslim countries and refugees from entering the United States. Yates’ came as a protest to the order after four federal judges ruled against Trump’s order.
White House stated in a statement: “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,”
Firing of Sally Yates underscores how impt it is to have an Attorney General who'll stand up to the WhiteHouse when they violate the law.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 31, 2017
Yates officially said: “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.”
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,
Dana Boente—The New Chief Lawyer—to Defend Travel Ban
Dana Boente, a 33 year old veteran US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, was sworn in at 9 p.m. Boente has not been vocal about his political views but close colleagues say he would not have agreed to be defending President Trump’s controversial executive order unless he believed it was legally sound.
Statement on the Appointment of Dana Boente as Acting Attorney General: https://t.co/fkAWOmnrsP
— President Trump (@POTUS) January 31, 2017
A few hours later he issued a statement rescinding Yates’ order, saying:
Based upon the Office of Legal Counsel’s analysis, which found the Executive Order both lawful on its face and properly drafted, I hereby rescind former Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates January 30, 2017, guidance and direct the men and women of the Department of Justice to do our sworn duty and to defend the lawful orders of our President,
Before he became a U.S. attorney, Boente worked in the tax division and as an interim attorney in both the Eastern District of Virginia and the Eastern District of Louisiana.