Sally Yates, former acting chief of the Justice Department, was fired after writing a memo instructing lawyers at the DOJ not to defend Trump’s executive order restricting immigration. In her memo, she indicated skepticism about the legality of the EO. The memo had effectively removed the ability of the White House to access authorized legal representation in various lawsuits and court actions against it. Before firing her, Trump tweeted to (try to) criticize her, but apparently forgot to finish his sentence; “The Democrats are delaying my cabinet picks for purely political reasons. They have nothing going but to obstruct. Now have an Obama A.G.” Sean Spicer, help a brother out and complete his alternative tweet for him. #sad.
AG Yates wrote, “My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts. In addition, 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…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.”