Trump fires acting Attorney General Sally Yates

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CBS NEWS President Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she ordered Justice Dept. lawyers to stop defending President Trump’s executive order banning new arrivals to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.

“The acting Attorney General, Sally 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 on Monday night. “This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.” 

Yates, a career official and Obama appointee, had said in an earlier statement that she was “not convinced” Mr. Trump’s immigration order is “lawful” and that the Justice Department would not defend it in court “until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.” 

The executive order banning new arrivals and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries had already been challenged in court a number of times, and has sparked widespread protests in major cities. On Saturday, the Justice Department defended the order before a court in Brooklyn. 

Yates’ decision signified a major about-face by the department.  

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