I had not heard of Sally Yates until today.
Now she becomes something of political hero in the eyes of millions of Americans — thanks to Donald J. Trump’s decision tonight to fire her from her job as acting U.S. attorney general.
What did the former assistant AG do? She declined to argue on behalf of the president’s decision to ban refugees trying to enter this country from seven Muslim-majority nations.
Yates questioned whether the executive order was lawful. Oh, yes — she is a holdover from the Obama administration’s Department of Justice.
My head continues to spin. My eyes are bugging out. My heart is palpitating.
Ten days into his presidency and Donald Trump’s penchant for pandemonium has claimed its first victim.
Yates was holding down the DOJ post until Jeff Sessions was to be approved by the U.S. Senate.
I’m not yet sure about the legality of the executive order. Perhaps the former assistant AG is right; perhaps she is wrong. Whatever the case, the president chose to fire her summarily without first trying to persuade her that she really ought to do the job she was supposed to do.
Some folks around Washington are bringing up some dark memories. Can you recall the Saturday Night Massacre, when President Nixon sought to remove a special prosecutor who was examining the Watergate caper? Do you recall he then fired — in succession — the attorney general and his assistant AG who refused to dismiss the independent counsel?
The task then fell to the U.S. solicitor general, a fellow named Robert Bork, who went on to earn his own place in our nation’s history.
Honeymoon for this president? It is officially over.