Trump Fires Top Lawyer who De­fied Immigration Or­der

Sally Yates, who said the jus­tice dept would not de­fend the or­der against court chal­lenges, was re­placed by at­tor­ney Dana Boente as act­ing AG

The Economic Times - - Around The World - ROBERTA RAMPTON & JU­LIA ED­WARDS AINS­LEY

Wash i n g t o n : US P r e si d e nt Don­ald Trump fired top fed­eral gov­ern­ment lawyer Sally Yates on Mon­day af­ter she took the ex­traor­di­nar­ily rare step of de­fy­ing the White House and re­fused to de­fend new travel re­stric­tions tar­get­ing seven Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity na­tions.

It was an­other dra­matic twist in the unusu­ally rau­cous roll­out of Trump’s di­rec­tive that put a 120day hold on al­low­ing refugees into the coun­try, an in­def­i­nite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on cit­i­zens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, So­ma­lia, Su­dan, Syria and Ye­men. The Fri­day night ban prompted protests and chaos at air­ports on the week­end as Cus­toms of­fi­cials strug­gled to put the or­der into prac­tise, and the fall­out spread to US markets on Mon­day, where stocks suf­fered their big­gest drop of 2017 and com­pa­nies af­fected by the change spoke out against it. Yates said late on Mon­day that the jus­tice de­part­ment would not de­fend the or­der against court chal­lenges, say­ing that she did not be­lieve it would be “con­sis­tent wit h t his i nsti­tu­tion’s solemn obli­ga­tion to al­ways seek jus­tice and stand for what is right”.

Hours later, she wa s fired. The White House s a i d Yat e s “h a s be­trayed the De­part­ment of Jus­tice by re­fus­ing to en­force a le­gal or­der de­signed to pr ot e c t t he c it i - zens of the United St ate s” a nd por­trayed her ac­tions as po­lit­i­cal. Trump has ar­gued tougher vet­ting of immigrants is needed to pro­tect Amer­ica from ter­ror at­tacks but crit­ics com­plain that his or­der un­fairly sin­gles out Mus­lims and de­files Amer­ica’s his­toric rep­u­ta­tion as a wel­com­ing place for immigrants. Yates, an ap­pointee of for­mer Demo­cratic Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, was days away from be­ing re­placed by Trump’s pick for the top spot at the jus­tice de­part­ment, Repub­li­can se­na­tor Jeff Ses­sions, who is await­ing Senate con­fir­ma­tion. “Ms Yates is an Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­pointee who is weak on bor­ders and very weak on il­le­gal immigration,” the White House said in a state­ment. T he White House s a id t h at Dana Boente, US at­tor­ney for the eastern dis­trict of Vir­ginia, was sworn in at 9pm ET and would be act­ing US at­tor­ney gen­eral un­til Ses­sions is ap­proved. Boente said i n a n i nter view with the Washington Post that he would en­force the immigration or­der. — The White House

Yates, an Obama apointee, was days away from be­ing re­placed by Trump’s pick for the top spot at the jus­tice de­part­ment, Repub­li­can se­na­tor Jeff Ses­sions, who is await­ing Senate con­fir­ma­tion

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