Attorney General Sally Yates was fired just after she directed the Justice Department lawyers not to defend Trump’s executive orders on immigration. She was replaced with Dana Boente.
Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” the White House said in a statement, adding: “Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”
This could actually be a blessing for immigrant rights activists and lawyers since it will actually give merit to their lawsuits.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said in a statement: “The Attorney General should be loyal and pledge fidelity to the law, not the White House. The fact that this administration doesn’t understand that is chilling.”
“These sort of amateur hour hijinks are costing President Trump precious political capital ahead of his aggressive legislative push,” said Howard Schweitzer, a former high-ranking official in Republican and Democratic administrations. “The PR debacle and failure to circulate this plan with leaders in Congress or our allies was a costly error and overwhelms any of the legitimate policies behind his order.”
Also, Daniel Ragsdale was also fired from the Immigration Enforcement (ICE) without explanation. He was replaced with Thomas Homan – a hardliner on immigration.
This, on the other hand, is confusing. This could be a set up for the next step in enforcing any immigration/refugee ban or deportation.
Questions of transparency will be raised and even greater questions about the control the White House will issue over other offices of government. What does this mean for the future? On one end, it would signal a test run for take-over of any checks and balances to the White House and that Bannon is ensuring no paper trails for more things to come. At the other end, it would signal just an administration’s change and transition.
Even before [Bannon] was given a formal seat on the National Security Council’s “principals committee” this weekend by President Donald Trump, Bannon was calling the shots and doing so with little to no input from the National Security Council staff, according to an intelligence official who asked not to be named out of fear of retribution.
“He is running a cabal, almost like a shadow NSC,” the official said. He described a work environment where there is little appetite for dissenting opinions, shockingly no paper trail of what’s being discussed and agreed upon at meetings, and no guidance or encouragement so far from above about how the National Security Council staff should be organized.
The intelligence official, who said he was willing to give the Trump administration the benefit of the doubt when it took office, is now deeply troubled by how things are being run.
“They ran all of these executive orders outside of the normal construct,” he said, referring to last week’s flurry of draft executive orders on everything from immigration to the return of CIA “black sites.”
The only vocal Republican is Senator McCain and even then, none of the Republicans are taking action on any of this. I believe they still have the most to lose at this point and their silence will be noted.