The White House announced Monday that it had fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who had reportedly ordered the Department of Justice not to defend the controversial immigration executive order President Trump signed Friday. Yates had “betrayed the Department of Justice,” by refusing to defend the order, a White House press release said.
Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, has replaced Yates as Acting Attorney General, the White House said. Boente was appointed to the U.S. Attorney position by former President Obama in 2015.
According to a White House pool report, senior assistant press secretary Michael Short told the pool reporter that Boente had been sworn in around 9 p.m. and that he had the authority to sign foreign surveillance warrants.
Read the full White House statement below:
The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.
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.
Tonight, President Trump relieved Ms. Yates of her duties and subsequently named Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve as Acting Attorney General until Senator Jeff Sessions is finally confirmed by the Senate, where he is being wrongly held up by Democrat senators for strictly political reasons
“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,” said Dana Boente, Acting Attorney General.