Trump Fires Acting Attorney General Who ‘Betrayed’ Department by Not Enforcing Travel Ban

Sally Yates has “betrayed the Department of Justice,” president says in irate statement

Last Updated: January 30, 2017 @ 7:11 PM

Donald Trump has fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates over her refusal to enforce his controversial travel ban, the White House announced on Monday.

“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 White House said in a statement.

The announcement that Yates had been “relieved of her duties,” follow’s Yates’ letter to Justice Department lawyers on Monday saying that she will not defend the announcement in court.

“My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts,” Yates wrote in her letter on Monday.

“At present, 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,” she wrote.

“It is time to get serious about protecting our country,” the White House statement said. “Calling for tougher vetting for individuals traveling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.”

Yates was a holdover from the Obama administration who was leading the department because Trump’s pick for Attorney General, Senator Jeff Session, had not yet been confirmed. Yates will be succeeded by Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.