>> In a dramatic show of defiance within the US government, the acting head of the US Department of Justice took a stand against Donald Trump's executive order on immigration and she got the axe. Sally Q Yates, appointed by President Barack Obama to run the DOJ in the interim between administrations.
On Monday issued a letter to her staff, instructing them not to defend Donald Trump's order temporarily banning travel to the US from seven middle eastern and African countries. She wrote that the order would not be quote, consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.
Donald Trump fired her late Monday night. A White House statement said Yates, quote, betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. Critics of the firing pointing out that Yates swore an oath not to defend the government, nor the department, but the US Constitution.
It was a rare instance of a top Justice Department official publicly breaking with the President. Recalling for some, the clash between President Richard Nixon and Attorney General Elliot Richardson. Richardson and his deputy quit rather than obey Nixon's order to fire a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal. The Democratic National Committee condemned Trump's firing of Yates, saying quote, Donald Trump can try and silence heroic patriots like Sally Yates, but he cannot silence the growing voices of an American people now wide awake to his tyrannical presidency.
The drama at the Justice Department, another sign of how hastily Trump's immigration order was developed and executed. The order blocks travel from seven nations for 90 days, suspended the US refugee program for four months and halted the resettlement of Syrian refugees indefinitely. Most State Department officials found out about it from media reports.
Yates' replacement is Dana Boente, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and will serve as Attorney General until the Senate confirms Senator Jeff Sessions. Boente told the Washington Post he will enforce the immigration order. A Senate vote on Sessions could come Tuesday. Citizens outraged by the immigration order demanding Democrats find some way of blocking his confirmation.