President Trump fires acting Attorney General for insubordination

Photo courtesy the White House.
President Donald J. Trump

WASHINGTON D.C. — President Donald J. Trump fired acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, Monday evening and appointed Dana Boente as acting Attorney General.

"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 press release from the White House stated.

Following the resignation of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who resigned her position on Inauguration Day, Yates was asked by the Trump administration to become acting Attorney General until Lynch's replacement is confirmed by the United States Senate.

Yates served as Deputy Attorney General under Lynch. She was appointed by former President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate on May 13, 2015.

"Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration," the White House stated.

"It is time to get serious about protecting our country. Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country."

Yates had sent a letter to Justice Department attorneys directing them not to file any legal arguments defending President Trump's executive order temporarily barring travelers from seven countries for 90 days and halting the acceptance of refugees for 120 days.

"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. 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.

"Consequently, 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."

Following Yates' letter, President Trump fired Yates Monday evening.

"Tonight, President Trump relieved Ms. Yates of her duties and subsequently named Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve as Acting Attorney General until Senator Jeff Sessions is finally confirmed by the Senate, where he is being wrongly held up by Democrat senators for strictly political reasons," the White House stated.

Boente is expected to honor President Trump's executive order until Senator Sessions is confirmed by the Senate.

"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," newly acting Attorney General Dana Boente said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 8:30 a.m. CT today on the nomination of Senator Sessions. Following a recommendation by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the confirmation vote will head to the full Senate.