President fires acting attorney general

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
President fires acting attorney general
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Sally Yates is seen in this file photo.

WASHINGTON -- Dana Boente has been named acting attorney general after the President relieved Sally Yates, who announced Monday afternoon she would not defend Trump's immigration order.

ORIGINAL STORY: Acting attorney general says DOJ won't defend Trump order

The move came hours after Yates announcement.

"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," a White House news release reads.

RELATED: What exactly is an 'executive order'?

Boente is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

He will be the acting attorney general as the Senate continues to debate confirming Jeff Sessions.

Late Monday, Boente reversed guidance from Yates, instructing DOJ lawyers to defend the Trump immigration order.

Meantime, lawmakers are responding to the sudden ouster of Sally Yates.

Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said Yates's record demonstrated she was someone the American people could trust, but was unceremoniously fired instead.

"As a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, I have worked closely with Deputy and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, whom I know to be a person of honor, intellect, and integrity," Jackson Lee said.

"Instead of firing Ms. Yates for her fidelity to the Constitution, the President should have consulted her, in her capacity as the nation's chief law enforcement officer, prior to the issuance his unconstitutional and discriminatory executive order banning Muslims from predominately Muslim countries from entering the United States."