Who is Sally Yates?
Yates was a remnant of the Obama administration, only in office until the Senate confirms Jeff Sessions as the next attorney general. But her dismissal reflected the sudden political forces unleashed in Washington in the early days of the Trump administration as the President seeks to impose his authority on the federal government and shows little patience for those who would block him from implementing core campaign pledges. The dramatic move came soon after CNN reported Yates told Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments defending Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees. “(Yates) has betrayed the Department of Justice,” the White House statement said. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates was dismissed by President Donald Trump Monday evening. Dana Boente, who Trump appointed to succeed Yates as acting attorney general, rescinded Yates’ guidance and instructed the Justice Department to “defend the lawful orders of our president.” Democrats reacted with outrage to the night’s dramatic events, warning that it called into question the independence of the Justice Department in the Trump administration. “Trump has commenced a course of conduct that is Nixonian in its design and execution and threatens the long-vaunted independence of DOJ,” Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers tweeted. “If dedicated gov officials deem his directives to be unlawful & unconstitutional, he will simply fire them as if gov is a reality show.” But Trump’s former GOP rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, jumped to the President’s defense. “After eight long years of a lawless Obama Department of Justice, it is fitting-and sad-that the very last act of the Obama DOJ is for the Acting AG to defy the newly elected President, refuse to enforce the law, and force the President to fire her,” Cruz said in a statement.