So, the man currently sitting in the president’s office fired the acting U.S. attorney general for drawing the legality of his executive order into question.
The White House issued a statement saying that acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates “betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.”
However, it’s worth noting Yates was attempting to fulfill the duty of her station. During the 2015 confirmation hearings for her appointment as U.S. deputy attorney general, a certain person named Jeff Sessions (sound familiar?) asked Yates what she would do if asked by the president to do something unlawful. Yates replied “I believe the attorney general or the deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow the law and the Constitution, and to give their independent legal advice to the president.”
Well, she tried to do that. In a letter to her staff Yates said, “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.”
Apparently Cheeto Hitler doesn’t appreciate dissent.
Three hours later, Yates got canned. I’m guessing the footage will show up on future intro reels for “The Apprentice.”
I wonder if anyone had time within those three hours to think about why Yates made her statement, and if it had any truth, or maybe why the order in question met with outrage and protests. But I guess I can understand why the scrambling search to find a yes-man would be more important.
According to the statement from the White House, “Ms. Yates is an Obama administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”
In contrast, the new acting attorney general, Dana Boente, is “honored to serve President Trump in this role until Senator Sessions is confirmed,” according to the White House.
Frankly, I don’t see how being an Obama administration appointee has any bearing on Yates’s ability to fill the position. I also find it disconcerting that the main consideration for filling the office doesn’t seem to be related to having any moral scruples, but is instead based on being “weak” or “very weak” on issues of immigration, and on being willing to “serve President Trump.”
Furthermore, the White House statement claimed “calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme.” Even if we were to cede that point without argument, “calling for tougher vetting” and placing an indefinite travel ban are not the same things.
I hope Mr. Boente is practicing his sincere smile for when he gets to stand behind the president for canned photos of freshly signed documents.
I also hope he reads the last section of the inscription on the Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”