Just hours after Acting Attorney General Sally Yates ordered the Department of Justice not to defend President Donald Trump’s refugee ban, the Trump administration ousted her from office. Yates, an Obama appointee, was tasked with serving as attorney general from Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration until his own AG nominee was approved. On Monday evening, Yates announced that the DOJ would not defend Trump's ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries while she was in office. Hours later, the Trump administration issued a statement calling Yates “weak” and announcing Dana Boente as her replacement.
“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,” read a statement by the Trump administration. “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.”
In a statement of their own, the Democratic National Committe condemned Trump’s firing of Yates. “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,” the DNC said in a Monday night statement. “But he cannot silence the growing voices of an American people now wide awake to his tyrannical presidency.”
Boente told the Washington Post’s Matt Zapotosky that he would enforce Trump’s ban.