Obama Holdover Refuses To Allow Justice To Defend Trump's Refugee Ban

The Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking member, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., left, talks with Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, prior to her testifying before committee's hearing on the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Given the games the Obama administration played during the transition it is hardly shocking that an Obama holdover who currently runs the Department of Justice has decided to take a whack at Trump:


Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, ordered the Justice Department on Monday not to defend President Trump’s executive order on immigration in court.

“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,” Ms. 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 decision is largely symbolic — Mr. Trump’s nominee to be attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, is likely to be confirmed soon — but it highlights the deep divide at the Justice Department and elsewhere in the government over Mr. Trump’s order.

Mr. Trump has the authority to fire Ms. Yates, but as the top Senate-confirmed official at the Justice Department, she is the only one authorized to sign foreign surveillance warrants, an essential function at the department.

If you think it was a professional decision rather than her disagreement with the policy, think again



Her belief on the wisdom of the policy is not even vaguely germane to the issue and it is hard to believe that anyone who was in Erick Holder’s justice department can even mouth the word “just.” Read the whole letter for a study in self-righteous douchebaggery.

This is political grandstanding. She could have made the same point, honorably, by packing her crap and walking out of the building but then she wouldn’t have her face in the papers and her name wouldn’t be invoked for Democrat fundraising emails.

If you want to understand why this Executive Order was managed in the way it was, you need to look no further than Yates and other Obamanauts, both political holdovers and career, in the senior ranks of executive branch agencies. I predict this action will produce a lot less, not more, coordination between the White House and its cabinet agencies until there is a level of trust established.


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