segunda-feira, 30 de janeiro de 2017

Trump fires Sally Yates after acting attorney general contradicted travel ban

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer praises the actions of acting attorney general Sally Yates who was fired by Donald Trump for her opposition to the executive order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. ‘It was a profile in courage, it was a brave act and a right act,’ he says. Schumer urges the president to think through his polices and consult departmental chiefs. ‘How can you run a country like this?’ he says, adding: ‘We cannot have a Twitter presidency’

Trump fires Sally Yates after acting attorney general contradicted travel ban
White House says Obama appointee ‘betrayed’ state department with letter instructing officials not to enforce president’s executive order

David Smith and Ben Jacobs in Washington and Spencer Ackerman in New York
Tuesday 31 January 2017 05.53 GMT

Donald Trump has fired the acting US attorney general after she told justice department lawyers not to defend his executive order banning entry for people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The White House said on Monday that Sally Yates had “betrayed” the department by refusing to enforce a legal order that was “designed to protect the citizens of the United States”.

Trump drafted in Dana Boente, US attorney for the eastern district of Virginia, to replace Yates as acting attorney general. The president’s official appointee, anti-immigration hardliner Senator Jeff Sessions, is yet to be confirmed by the Senate.

As the country’s top law enforcement official, Yates, who was appointed by Barack Obama, had control over the justice department’s immigration litigation office, which has handled the federal complaints filed against Trump’s order since his bombshell policy was announced on Friday.

“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,” Yates wrote in a letter to justice department lawyers. “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.”

The action earned praise from immigration activists and Democrats but within three hours Yates was gone.

A statement from the White House press secretary’s office said: “Ms Yates is an Obama administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.

“It is time to get serious about protecting our country. Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.”

Trump had “relieved Ms Yates of her duties” and Boente would take over until Sessions’s confirmation by the Senate “where he is being wrongly held up by Democrat senators for strictly political reasons”.

Sessions, a longtime Trump ally, has drawn vocal opposition from liberal groups.

The White House statement quoted Boente as saying: “I am honored to serve President Trump in this role until Senator Sessions is confirmed. I will defend and enforce the laws of our country to ensure that our people and our nation are protected.”

The president’s swift action was praised by his supporters. Newt Gingrich drew parallels with reality TV show The Apprentice. “Trump practiced ‘you’re fired’ for years,” the former House Speaker tweeted. “Today he applied it to an insubordinate acting [attorney] general. Congratulations.”

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