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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
by
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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©2017 All rights reserved.

FEBRUARY 1, 2017

     Sally Yates got what she deserved - fired.  President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates Monday night for "refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States," the White House said.  "(Yates) has betrayed the Department of Justice," the White House statement said.  Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, was sworn in at 9 p.m. ET, per an administration official. A few hours later, Boente issued a statement rescinding Yates' order, instructing DOJ lawyers to "defend the lawful orders of our President."

     Trump didn't call Yates to dismiss her, she was informed by hand-delivered letter, according to a different administration official.  The move set up a clash between the White House and Yates, who was appointed by President Barack Obama and was set to serve until Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's nominee for attorney general, if confirmed.

     Sen. Jeff Sessions,  Trump’s current nominee for attorney general, had warned Yates during his grilling that she might face a crucial decision when confronting the president.  “Do you think the attorney general has the responsibility to say ‘no’ to the president if he asks for something that’s improper?” Sessions asked Yates in the hearing.  Yates replied that she was bound by the Constitution to do what is best for the country.  “I believe that the attorney general or deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow the law and the Constitution and give their independent legal advice to the president,” Yates replied.  She was tasked to mount a legal defense for Trump’s executive order which bars immigrants from seven Muslim-dominated countries. She refused.  In a statement, Yates said she did not believe the order was lawful, setting off a firestorm of accusations of political bias.