US President Donald Trump fired the acting Attorney General of the country, Sally Yates, after she refused to defend his controversial immigration ban policy.
Yates, who was deputy attorney general under Obama and was promoted to acting until the confirmation of Trump’s nominee Jeff Sessions, was let go in a scathing statement released from the Presidency.
“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,” the statement read.
“Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”
Trump signed an Executive Order banning immigration from seven Muslim majority countries and leading to detention of numerous people in airports across the country. Yates, in a memo to Justice Department officials, said she would not defend the ban in court since it was unlawful.
“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.”
Dana Boente, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, has been appointed in the acting capacity until Session’s eventual confirmation.