There’s never a dull moment in the Trump administration. On Monday night, President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates after Yates ordered the Justice Department to not defend Trump’s executive order on immigration.
Not long after the story broke about Yates, who was a holdover from President Barack Obama’s Justice Department, Trump quickly dismissed her and replaced her with Dana J. Boente, The New York Times reported.
Just like on “The Apprentice,” Trump used the two magic words “you’re fired” on Monday to show that he was in charge.
(That’s figuratively speaking, of course. The actual letter Yates received, according to The Times, said “the president has removed you from the office of Deputy Attorney General of the United States.” Less direct, but the idea’s the same.)
In a strongly worded statement announcing Yates’ dismissal, Trump said she was “weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration” and accused her of failing to do her job and uphold the laws of the United States.
“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,” the statement read.
Trump showed that he wasn’t going to let someone defy his administration — particularly over a legal action — and get away with it.
While Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’ hearing was going along smoothly (or about as smoothly as you could expect), this sudden change will throw a wrench into that as his confirmation will now be seen by some Democrats as a vote in favor of Trump’s immigration ban.
This little spat also showed just how polarized and politicized the Department of Justice became under the Obama administration.
Sessions will undoubtedly defend Trump’s immigration ban, which is something many Democrats are not willing to accept. This should lead to some interesting showdowns within the next day or two.
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