President Donald Trump has fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she instructed Department of Justice attorneys not to defend his temporary executive refugee and immigration ban.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 31, 2017
Yates, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, said in a memo earlier Monday that she was “not convinced” that Trump’s order was lawful, nor that its defense was consistent with the DOJ’s obligation to “always seek justice and stand for what is right.”
President Trump has tapped Dana Boente, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to take over until Senator Jeff Sessions is confirmed.
Ms Yates was due to be replaced by Jeff Sessions, Mr Trump’s pick for attorney general, once his appointment is confirmed by the US senate.
Her statement was largely symbolic but highlighted the deep divisions within the US government over the president’s orders.
Here is the White House statement on the firing of Yates and hiring of Boente.
And Sally Yates has been fired pic.twitter.com/Pbw0MxxNOt
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) January 31, 2017
Trump complained about the “Obama A.G.” and the holdup of his cabinet nominees Monday on Twitter:
The Democrats are delaying my cabinet picks for purely political reasons. They have nothing going but to obstruct. Now have an Obama A.G.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2017
The president issued a statement late Monday afternoon explaining his controversial immigration executive order: