Last night, President Donald Trump hastily fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she issued a public statement saying she would not direct the justice department to defend Trump's Muslim ban in court.
Source: Daily Report Online
This all began when Yates released an unprecedented public statement that read:
"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 White House promptly fired Yates and replaced her with the U.S. attorney of the eastern district of Virginia, Dana J. Boente.
This is meant to be a temporary solution until Trump's pick for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions gets approved by Congress. Here's the thing: Sessions' approval was never guaranteed, and certainly never sure to be a smooth process. Now? It could end up being a whole lot more difficult.
Interestingly, Attorney General-hopeful Jeff Sessions and no-longer Attorney General Sally Yates did cross paths once before.
Then-Senator Sessions grilled Yates during her own confirmation hearing after President Obama had nominated her for the position.
Their exchange was ironic, to say the least.
Assuming that Sessions gets through his hearings without any sort of permanent block from the now-activated Democrats, will he, too, be able to hold himself to the same responsibility that he initially expected that Sally Yates would?
We sure hope so, though we won't hold our breath.
Well that's awkward pic.twitter.com/VID88sYOeV— Staffer News (@staffernews) January 31, 2017