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Tag: Sally Yates

James Clapper: Trump Leading a ‘Very Disturbing Assault on Independence of the Department of Justice’

James Clapper on CNN

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Echoing what former acting Attorney General Sally Yates said the other day, ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tells CNN Monday that President Donald Trump is  leading “a very disturbing assault on the independence of the Department of Justice.”

“When the President — this president or any president — tries to use the Department of Justice as kind of a private investigatory body, that’s not good for the country,” Clapper told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Clapper was reacting to Trump’s demand over the weekend that the Justice Department “look into” whether the FBI or Justice Department planted a spy in his presidential campaign following reports that the bureau dispatched a confidential source to speak with some campaign aides about possible ties to Russia.

Clapper tells CNN the FBI’s use of confidential informants is a  “a legitimate activity, an important one, on the part of the FBI. They use informants and have strict rules and protocols on this.”

Sally Yates: Trump ‘Tearing Down the Legitimacy’ of the Justice Department

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General fired by President Donald Trump last year, says the president’s caustic tweets aimed at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller are collectively “tearing down the legitimacy” of the Justice Department, Yahoo! News reports.

Yates, speaking at the 2018 Ideas Conference hosted by the Center for American Progress on Tuesday, urged the country not to ignore Trump’s attacks on the rule of law, Yahoo! News reports.

“What I worry about is the normalization of so much that is not normal,” said Yates.

“There is a time-honored tradition at the Department of Justice, at least since Watergate, that is nonpartisan,” Yates said. “There is a wall between the Department of Justice and the White House when it comes to criminal investigations and prosecutions.”

Trump has been hammering away at that wall so often and with such ferocity, she said, “nobody’s rolling their eyes anymore,” Yahoo! reports.

 

President’s Choice for FBI Director Supported Trump Foes Comey, Yates

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s choice for the next FBI director doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the president on two former high-ranking Justice Department officials.

Roll Call reports that Christopher Wray previously voiced support for FBI Director James Comey and acting Attorney General Sally Yates, both of whom have been fired by Trump. 

Wray, for example, was among 10 former DOJ officials who expressed support in a letter to the Senate for Comey’s nomination to lead the FBI in 2013. The letter lauded Comey for his “integrity and independence.”

In another letter, Wray was among 12 former DOJ officials who recommended Yate’s nomination to the No. 2 post in the Justice Department, saying she garnered the respect of her peers “both in the Department and out.”

The recommendations are inconvenient for a president who has claimed Comey and Yates are partisan hacks bent on taking down Trump.   

Sally Yates Reveals She Warned President Trump about Michael Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sally Q. Yates thought she had urgent information.

Less than a week after Trump took office, the acting attorney general rushed to the White House with news that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had lied to the vice president and was vulnerable to blackmail by Russian officials, the New York Times reports.

“We wanted to tell the White House as quickly as possible,” Yates told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Monday. “To state the obvious: You don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians.”

But Trump didn’t fire Flynn, who remained in office for 18 more days. Flynn finally lost his job when the media exposed his false statements.

Yates said she has no idea why Trump waited so long.

“I don’t have any way of knowing what, if anything, they did,” Yates said. “If nothing was done, then certainly that would be concerning.”

The FBI also is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the presidential election.

Ex-Deputy AG Sally Yates Says Trump Tried to Limit Her Testimony on Russia

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has tried to limit former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates’ congressional testimony on possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Her lawyer, David O’Neil, said the Justice Department was claiming her actions as a deputy attorney general were “client confidences” and therefore should not be disclosed without written permission, Fortune reports.

“We believe that the Department’s position in this regard is overbroad, incorrect, and inconsistent with the Department’s historical approach to the congressional testimony of current and former senior officials,” O’Neil wrote in a March 23 letter to Justice Department official Samuel Ramer.

The White House denied any interference with Yates’ plans to testify.

“We have no problem with her testifying, plain and simple,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

Yates said she still plans to testify but won’t reveal any classified information.

Sally Yates Sends the Right Message to the Trump White House

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates wasn’t going to be around very long at the Justice Department considering she was a holdover from the Obama administration.

Nonetheless, she should be commended for standing up to President Donald Trump, who implemented an executive order that was poorly thought out and executed.

Hopefully she has set a tone and a message to the White House: Federal law enforcement will not compromise its principles when asked to do something that violates the law.

It’s not likely to be the last time the administration directs federal law enforcement officials to do something questionable.

The president on Tuesday, when announcing his Supreme Court nominee, talked about the importance of the Constitution and the rule of law. We should take him at his word that he places great importance on upholding the law, not bending or breaking it.

In the coming months and years, some law enforcement officials may be forced to make a choice between doing the right thing for the country or keeping their jobs and following a White House order.

Hopefully they’ll do the right thing.

They can always get another job.

They can’t always get another reputation.

 

Lengel: Sally Yates Sets the Right Tone for Law Enforcement in Trump Era

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates wasn’t going to be around very long at the Justice Department considering she was a holdover from the Obama administration.

Nonetheless, she should be commended for standing up to President Donald Trump, who implemented an executive order that was poorly thought out and executed.

Hopefully she has set a tone and a message to the White House: Federal law enforcement will not compromise its principles when asked to do something that violates the law.

It’s not likely to be the last time the administration directs federal law enforcement officials to do something questionable.

The president on Tuesday, when announcing his Supreme Court nominee, talked about the importance of the Constitution and the rule of law. We should take him at his word that he places great importance on upholding the law, not bending or breaking it.

In the coming months and years, some law enforcement officials may be forced to make a choice between doing the right thing for the country or keeping their jobs and following a White House order.

Hopefully they’ll do the right thing.

They can always get another job.

They can’t always get another reputation.

 

Chicago Tribune: Trump Wrong for Ousting of AG Yates over ‘Unconstitutional’ Order

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Editorial Board
Chicago Tribune

President Donald Trump, the former TV reality star, has never said “You’re fired” like this.

His decision Monday night to oust acting Attorney General Sally Yates heightens the drama over his deplorable executive action on immigration. Trump’s move is petulant and unsettling, especially for Americans with long memories. That said, amateur historians rolling out comparisons to Richard Nixon‘s 1973 “Saturday Night Massacre” — the firing of his attorney general over Watergate — are overwrought.

We don’t know how this confrontation will end, but we’re certain we know where it is headed: to a cluster of federal courts. That’s where the Trump administration will attempt to defend the president’s overly broad order temporarily halting the country’s refugee program and banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days. The countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Trump’s sweeping directive, signed Friday, was intended to protect the country from terrorism, but it’s deeply problematic and arguably unconstitutional. It was rolled out too quickly, without adequate time to debate its merits or explain the scope. The Associated Press reports that at least three top national security officials — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Rex Tillerson, who is awaiting confirmation to lead the State Department — have told associates they were not aware of details of the directive until around the time Trump signed it.

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