Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trump Fires Acting Attorney General Who Defied Him

It is becoming increasingly clear that with Donald Trump, as with Adolph Hitler and later Richard Nixon, anyone who challenges the legality or propriety of his actions will be fired.  The latest example is the firing of Sally Q. Yates, acting Attorney General, who had the backbone to question the legality of Der Fuhrer's anti-Muslim immigration executive order. With he ever petulant and narcissistic Trump, it is always about his whims and wants - the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law be damned.  Of course, none of what is happening should be a surprise who did not have their head up their ass during the 2016 presidential campaign and/or wasn't blinded by Trump's calls to racism and misogyny.  The New York Times looks at the latest temper tantrum of Der Fuhrer.  Here are excerpts:
President Trump fired his acting attorney general on Monday night, removing her as the nation’s top law enforcement officer after she defiantly refused to defend his executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees and people from predominantly Muslim countries.
In an escalating crisis for his 10-day-old administration, the president declared in a statement that Sally Q. Yates, who had served as deputy attorney general under President Barack Obama, had betrayed the administration by announcing that Justice Department lawyers would not defend Mr. Trump’s order against legal challenges.
The president replaced Ms. Yates with Dana J. Boente, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, saying that he would serve as attorney general until Congress acts to confirm Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. In his first act in his new role, Mr. Boente announced that he was rescinding Ms. Yates’s order.
Monday’s events have transformed the confirmation of Mr. Sessions into a referendum on Mr. Trump’s immigration order. Action in the Senate could come as early as Tuesday.
Ms. Yates’s order was a remarkable rebuke by a government official to a sitting president, and it recalled the so-called Saturday Night Massacre in 1973, when President Richard M. Nixon fired his attorney general and deputy attorney general for refusing to dismiss the special prosecutor in the Watergate case.
At 9:15 p.m., Ms. Yates received a hand-delivered letter at the Justice Department that informed her that she was fired. Signed by John DeStefano, one of Mr. Trump’s White House aides, the letter informed Ms. Yates that “the president has removed you from the office of Deputy Attorney General of the United States.”
Two minutes later, the White House officials lashed out at Ms. Yates in a statement issued by Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary.
Former Justice Department officials said the president’s action would send a deep shudder through an agency that was already on edge as officials anticipated an ideological overhaul once Mr. Session takes over. One former senior official said that department lawyers would be unnerved by the firing.
Democrats, meanwhile, hailed Ms. Yates as a principled defender of what she thought was right.
The 1973 “Saturday Night Massacre” led to a constitutional crisis that ended when Robert H. Bork, the solicitor general, acceded to Mr. Nixon’s order and fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor.
Ms. Yates, a career prosecutor, is different because she is a holdover from the Obama administration. She agreed to Mr. Trump’s request to stay on as acting attorney general until Mr. Sessions is confirmed to be attorney general.
It should be becoming obvious to anyone who cares about the rule of law and the future of American democracy that Trump needs to be removed from office by any means necessary. 

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