Acting Attorney General Refuses to Defend Immigration Order, Fired by Trump

(ESPAÑOL) Trump has fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, concluding she has “betrayed the Department of Justice” by refusing to defend his immigration order that imposes a temporary ban on refugees and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Less than two weeks after his inauguration, and only hours after Yates sent a message to department lawyers announcing that she would not defend Trump’s order restricting travel and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, the new president removed the nation’s top law enforcement officer in a move not seen since the Nixon era.

In the letter, delivered around 5 p.m. Monday, Yates said she was not “convinced” about the legality of Trump’s decision to block travelers from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia for 90 days; to suspend new refugee admissions; and to ban the acceptance of Syrian refugees indefinitely.

“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. 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.”

The Trump administration immediately named Dana Boente, the top federal prosecutor in suburban Virginia, the interim attorney general. Boente, a veteran government lawyer with decades of experience, will serve until Trump’s nominee, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, is confirmed by the Senate.