Trump Fires Acting Attorney General Yates For “Betrayal”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jan 30 2017
Update #3: Unsurprisingly, Democrats are up in arms over the firing of ‘their’ Acting Attorney General, seemingly making her out to be some freedom-fighting martyr for their cause of selective and political law enforcement. The Hill reports:
The DNC released a statement late Monday responding to ”tyrannical” Pres Trump’s decision to fire Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Yates was fired shortly after she announced that Justice Dept not to defend Trump’s controversial executive order on immigration under her watch. The DNC statement read: “Donald Trump can try to silence heroic patriots like Sally Yates who dare to speak truth to power about his illegal anti-Muslim ban that emboldens terrorists around the globe. But he cannot silence the growing voices of an American people now wide awake to his tyrannical presidency.”
Update #2: That “mutiny” did not last long. At 9:16 pm on Monday, Pres Trump announced the firing of the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, who defied him just three hours earlier on his migrant-travel ban urging the DOJ not to follow his executive order, saying she “has betrayed the DoJ.”
Statement on the Appointment of Dana Boente as Acting Attorney General
The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the DoJ by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of Pindostan. This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel. Ms Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration. It is time to get serious about protecting our country. Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country. Tonight, President Trump relieved Ms. Yates of her duties and subsequently named Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve as Acting Attorney General until Senator Jeff Sessions is finally confirmed by the Senate, where he is being wrongly held up by Democrat senators for strictly political reasons. “I am honored to serve President Trump in this role until Senator Sessions is confirmed. I will defend and enforce the laws of our country to ensure that our people and our nation are protected,” said Dana Boente, Acting Attorney General.
Update #1: President Trump responds…
As we detailed earlier, in what those with a flair for the dramatic might be allowed to call “mutiny”, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who is the current Acting Attorney General, has given orders to Justice Dept lawyers not to defend Trump’s executive order. Her just released statement is below:
On Jan 27 2017, the President signed an Executive Order regarding immigrants and refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries. The order has now been challenged in a number of jurisdictions. As the Acting Attorney General, it is my ultimate responsibility to determine the position of the Dept of Justice in these actions. My role is different from that of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which through administrations of both parties has reviewed Executive Orders for form and legality before they are issued. OLC’s review is limited to the narrow question of whether in OLC’s view a proposed Executive Order is lawful on its face and properly drafted. Its review does not take account of statements made by an administration or it surrogates close in time to the issuance of an Executive Order that may bear on the order’s purpose. And importantly, it does not address whether any policy choice embodied in an Executive Order is wise or just. Similarly in litigation, DoJ Civil Division lawyers are charged with advancing reasonable legal arguments that can be made supporting an Executive Order. But my role as leader of this institution is different and broader. My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the DoJ is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts. In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right. 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. 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.
While it is clear that Yates is making a purely political statement, her glaring insubordination to the Trump administration will take on a largely symbolic hue, and may be imitated by various other government agencies which still have interim or permanent democratic leadership, as is the case with every instance of political “mutiny.” As the NYT notes, Trump has the authority to fire Yates, but as the top Senate-confirmed official at the Justice Dept, she is the only one authorized to sign foreign surveillance warrants, an essential function at the department. That said, Donald Trump’s response, once he realizes he may have a mini mutiny on his hands, should be interesting. Trump aide (and reported architect of Trump’s immigration executive order) Stephen Miller explains “this is further demonstration of how politicized our legal system has become.”
And here is the authority that the president has to make his decision.
Even Alan Dershowitz believes AG Yates “has made a serious mistake”…
Trump On A Roll, Fires Director Of Immigration And Customs Enforcement
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jan 3, 2017
Having said the infamous words “you’re fired” once already this evening, when President Trump relieved acting AG Sally Yates of her duties just after 9 pm EST, and perhaps realizing just how much he missed the sound, moments ago Trump also relieved acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Daniel Ragsdale, who was replaced with Thomas Homan, who previously led ICE’s “efforts to identify, arrest, detain, and remove illegal aliens, including those who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws and our border control efforts.” There was no immediate reason given for Ragsdale’s dismissal. The full statement from DHS Sec Kelly announcing Homan taking over as ICE Director is below.
Today, the president appointed Thomas D Homan acting director of Pindo Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Since 2013, Homan has served as the executive associate director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). In this capacity, he led ICE’s efforts to identify, arrest, detain, and remove illegal aliens, including those who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws and our border control efforts. Homan is a 33-year veteran of law enforcement, and has nearly 30 years of immigration enforcement experience. He has served as a police officer in New York, a Border Patrol agent, a special agent with the former INS, as well as supervisory special agent and deputy assistant director for investigations at ICE. In 1999, Mr Homan became the assistant district director for investigations (ADDI) in San Antonio, Texas, and three years later transferred to the ADDI position in Dallas, Texas. Upon the creation of ICE, Homan was named as the assistant agent in charge in Dallas. In Mar 2009, Homan accepted the position of assistant director for enforcement within ERO at ICE headquarters and was subsequently promoted to deputy executive associate director of ERO. Mr Homan holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and received the Presidential Rank Award in 2015 for his exemplary leadership and extensive accomplishments in the area of immigration enforcement. I am confident that he will continue to serve as a strong, effective leader for the men and women of ICE. I look forward to working alongside him to ensure that we enforce our immigration laws in the interior of Pindostan consistent with the national interest.
Can Trump make it a Monday termination trifecta? We will find out soon enough.