Donald Trump fires US Acting Attorney General for defying his immigration ban

Ms Yates speaks at a June 2016 press conference Pete Marovich/Getty

The Atlantic – President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates only hours after she instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend his controversial executive order restricting Muslim travel and immigration to the United States, escalating a growing political crisis that has consumed his early presidency.

In an extraordinarily personal statement announcing the dismissal, the White House said Yates had “betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States” and denounced her as “an Obama administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”

Replacing Yates as the leader of the Justice Department will be Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, until the Senate confirms Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to be attorney general.

Events unfolded rapidly after Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration who took over the department’s reins on January 20, sent a letter to Justice Department lawyers and staffers instructing them not to defend Trump’s controversial order. Among the order’s provisions were the suspension of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, a permanent ban on admitting Syrian refugees, and a temporary ban on visa travel by foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.

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