Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates
By Steve Neavling
President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday after she refused to defend his executive order on immigration.
Yates served as deputy attorney general for the Obama administration and named the acting attorney general until Sen. Jeff Session is confirmed.
In the meantime, the Trump administration appointed Dana Boente, 63, to serve as acting attorney general. Boente served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, NBC News reports.
Yates had directed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the executive order, but Boente rescinded the directive.
Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” the White House said in a statement, adding: “Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”
“At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with [the Justice Department’s] responsibilities nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful,” Yates wrote. “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.”