Shortly after Acting Attorney General Sally Yates instructed the Department of Justice not to defend Donald Trump’s immigration ban, the president of the U.S. fired her. According to the White House, Yates’ betrayed the state by refusing to defend a legal policy designed to protect the American people.
Yates became the Deputy Attorney General of the United States in 2015 under Barack Obama’s administration after receiving a favorable vote from the Senate. Earlier this month, she became the Acting Attorney General after accepting the request of the incoming administration.
However, just days after taking on her new role, Yates decided to defy the new administration by criticizing Trump’s executive order regarding the strict travel restrictions on those from certain Muslim countries.
Using her position, she instructed the DOJ to refuse to follow the president’s executive order. Trump responded to Yates’ betrayal by firing her.
“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 according to The Guardian. “It is time to get serious about protecting our country.”
“Calling for tougher betting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme,” it added. “It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.”
Temporarily taking over Yates’ position is Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. But Boente, who is also an Obama appointee, will only serve as the Acting Attorney General until Trump’s pick Jeff Sessions, the senator from Alabama takes office.
It is not yet clear when Sessions will assume his new role as Attorney General but the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings regarding his nomination already began on Jan. 10. The committee is expected to vote on his nomination on Jan. 31.
Given the current issue regarding Trump’s visa ban,Jeff Sessions is expected to serve as an effective Attorney General due to her stern stance against illegal immigration.