Trump fires acting AG for refusing to defend his executive order on immigration


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At last! President Trump this evening fired the acting attorney general because of her announcement earlier today saying that the Justice Department would not defend in court his executive order on immigration.

The Trump 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. This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.

Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.

It is time to get serious about protecting our country. Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.

Tonight, President Trump relieved Ms. Yates of her duties and subsequently named Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to serve as Acting Attorney General until Senator Jeff Sessions is finally confirmed by the Senate, where he is being wrongly held up by Democrat senators for strictly political reasons.

For more than a quarter century I have watched Republican leaders back down the instant a Democrat whined at them. Every. single. time. This time is different. Trump is not a fearful politician. He is a businessmen, an executive, and someone who expects his employees to support his actions. My first reaction when I read Yates statement earlier today was, “Fire her!” I then laughed because I haven’t seen that common sense reaction from a Republican for decades. I have seen it now.

There is still no guarantee that Trump’s policies or actions are going to be very conservative. For example, the one person out of five listed for possible Supreme Court nominee that I have found very questionable has now risen to the top of the list. Yuch. Nonetheless, Trump seems determined to make significant and positive changes in a number of areas, from immigration to environmental policy and administration. If he only does these things, he will have accomplished much.

Update: State Department officials are putting together a memorandum that will announce their opposition to President Trump’s executive order on immigration. I wonder how long these individuals will survive working for Trump after they do this.

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25 comments

  • Garry

    The article is a little confusing; it states:

    “The memo would be issued on the State Department’s Dissent Channel, which was established in 1971 during the Vietnam War as a venue for diplomats to freely express their concerns with U.S. policy. Responses to messages within the channel are guaranteed within two working days, according to the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), which represents foreign-service officers; a substantive reply is to be provided with 30-60 working days, AFSA adds.

    “The U.S. State Department expressly forbids reprisals for those who use the channel to express views that are contrary to stated U.S. policy”

    A quick read of the article suggests that no action can be taken against State Department personnel using the Dissent Channel to express dissent.

    However, my read is that State Department can only forbid reprisals taken by its personnel; they can’t forbid the President from imposing reprisals. I also wonder if the protest will be published elsewhere; my impression is that this would allow even State Department personnel to impose reprisals.

    My fear is that some of these employees are protected by unions, which could complicate things, but as you mention in another post, Trump is not one to back down in the face of opposition.

    By the way, I love the concept of the Dissent Channel; if disagreements are handled only there and if it’s used properly, it can be a valuable tool for avoiding Groupthink. I’ve never liked Yes-men, especially when I was a boss.

  • Garry

    On another note, when’s the last time anyone here can remember a Republican leader (on the national level) not backing down in the face of whining? The most recent I can remember is Reagan’s firing of the air traffic controllers.

    I was encouraged by George W Bush’s handling of an incident in his first campaign when he was caught on tape calling a reporter a [hineyhole]; I knew he would grovel and apologize, but instead he just said “I told you I’d be plainspoken.” However, I don’t remember any incident after that when he showed similar fortitude.

  • Kevin R.

    I very much underestimated Trump. I’m very pleasantly surprised.

  • Alex

    GRAET! Go forward, President Trump, go forward, our hope in different European countries last on you!

  • Des

    Robert: Whenever Obama issued executive orders you disagreed with you called it unconstitutional executive over reach. This executive order by Trump is one of the biggest ever, but suddenly all concerns of executive over reach disappear?

  • Jim Jakoubek

    The acting AG, like he rest of the cabinet serves at the. pleasure of the President.

    This executive order is not only lawful but makes a great deal of sense and if the AG refused
    to carry out the order, then by all means, she was terminated.

    As far as over reach goes, here is a link of some of the antics taken by Obama, the President
    who by his own words spent eight years blowing off his mouth that all he has to do is whip
    out his pen.

    http://ijr.com/2014/05/136282-constitutional-lawyer-senator-ted-cruz-releases-definitive-list-ways-ob

  • wayne

    Jim Jakoubek/Garry–Good stuff.

    Reagan talk on the Air Traffic Controllers strike
    https://youtu.be/aWFwTNQ5LiE
    (10:52)

    Des–
    “The Immigration and Nationality Act (§ 212(f)) gives the president plenary power to “by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants.” Clearly, the president has the authority to block any non-citizen – including refugees, green card holders, and foreign students – from entering the country. Also, for purposes of deportation, there is no difference between a green card holder or a holder of a non-immigrant visa. No foreign national who has not yet obtained citizenship has an affirmative right to re-enter the country.”
    Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review 1-29-17.

  • Des: There is a difference between issuing an executive order that is in conflict with law, and one that is in accordance with it. When Obama issued similar executive orders blocking immigration from Iraq for six months, I made no complaint. Search BtB. You will find no example of it. In that case Obama was within his rights as President. If I said anything, it would be to complain that he wasn’t doing enough in terms of immigration.

    Trust me, when Trump does something I think improper or unlawful, I will say so. (Note that I say “when”, not “if”.) I have made my reservations and criticisms of Trump quite clear over the past year.

    You however have to stop allowing your partisan leanings in favor of Democrats to rule your mind. Trump’s actions here are not constitutional over reach, or nor are they “one of the biggest ever.” Try to take a step back, take a breath, and look at the facts with a cool mind. You will find that you will get a better understanding of what is going on.

  • Ted

    Just finished reading the link that Jim Jakoubek posted. My only question(s)

    1) Why wasn’t he impeached?
    2) Why isn’t he in jail now along with what’s her face —- Hillary?!

  • wayne

    Ted–
    A: John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are to blame.

  • Phil Berardelli

    That was my first reaction as well, Bob. “Fire her now” was the thought that popped into my head. That should be Trump’s policy throughout his administration. Employees of the executive branch of the government, be they politically appointed or civil service, hold their jobs at the pleasure and with the authority of the president. He can fire them for any reason. And if such action runs counter to public service union rules, the president should abolish such unions — just as President John F. Kennedy created them via executive order. Or, he could abolish or reorganize the office or offices for which they work.

  • wayne

    Phil–
    good stuff.

    What has been happening in the Civil Service the past 7 years, and specifically the past 3 years– political appointee’s at all levels of the Federal government, have been transitioning into the Civil Service, where they can not be fired except for cause.
    The Civil Service historically were never unionized up until JFK, but they are now. (Even FDR knew that was a bad idea.) There is no reason they should remain unionized, and I would advocate we returned to a “Professional non-union Civil Service” going forward.

    Unfortunately the lower-level moles that are already embedded into the Civil Service cannot be gotten at. (elections have consequences that live on for decades.)

    Executive Branch directly controls about 3,500 positions, and as you note, they all serve at the pleasure of the President and can be fired at will. (Very few of these require Senate confirmation.)
    It has always been customary that all appointee’s of the previous administration would tender their resignations & merely function as placeholders until they were formally replaced.

    The lefts Fake Outrage, covered by purveyors of Fake News, is nothing but contrived Fake Conflict.

    I totally applaud Trump’s actions in regard to Sally Yates. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • Edward

    That Trump fired his insubordinate subordinate should not be so surprising. The main reason for Trump’s popularity is saying “You’re fired!” on TV week after week.

    Ted asked: “Why wasn’t he impeached? Why isn’t he in jail now along with what’s her face —- Hillary?!

    This is exactly what Robert is talking about when he says that the Republicans backed down. “Every. single. time.

    Most of the Republicans in DC were too cowardly to even say anything opposed to Obama, because they feared being called racists. Thus, they never mentioned impeachment, but the Democrats mentioned it constantly. Ted Cruz (thanks to Jim Jakoubek for the link to the article), Donald Trump, and the late Andrew Breitbart were not affraid to be called racist, because they understood the current definition of the word, the Orwellian definition:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmF6kdV2bQk (7 minutes)

    As for Clinton and Obama, what is to be seen is whether Trump has the gonads to prosecute a former political ally and later political opponent, because the mere running for president must not place someone above the law that the rest of us must live by. Whether Obama can be shown to be an actual traitor is another question. There is the possibility that the smartest president that we ever had was actually too stupid to understand that his actions gave away our security.

  • Cotour

    “There is the possibility that the smartest president that we ever had was actually too stupid to understand that his actions gave away our security.”

    Seriously Edward?

    Most all of Obamas actions as president were focused on razing and disarming the America that is for the America that fundamentally must take its place (in his opinion anyway). Surely you must have forgotten to ad the customary sarcasm note. There has been no mistake made.

  • Edward

    No, Cotour. If he purposefully gave away our security, then he is guilty of treason. If he stupidly gave it away, well, stupidity is not a crime. Most likely, if there is a trial, Obama would claim stupidity (insanity would be harder to prove). You and I have come to our (same) conclusion, but it really depends upon which can be shown: malice or incompetence.

  • Cotour

    Where do you get the thought that Obama may have to suffer a trial? Obama could feign ignorance if confronted and claim “because thats not who we are”, but I do not need a written note of admission from him to understand what his intent was during his presidency.

    I have flatly said here that Obama and his adherents (Kerry) have indeed committed treason, just look at the Iran deal alone. But that is my opinion based on reasonable observation of his actions and accomplishments. The real takeaway here is that there really are hard, concrete consequences to elections. We could call it malpractice or treason, but when the people chose to empower someone, whom ever, they for the most part get a pass.

    The battle goes on, it is never ending.

  • Edward

    Cotour wrote: “Where do you get the thought that Obama may have to suffer a trial?

    From Ted’s question #2. The whole premise is that Clinton and Obama are supposed to be in jail, where they belong. The only way to get them there is for the Trump Justice Department to have the gonads to put them there.

    Cotour wrote: “I do not need a written note of admission from him to understand what his intent was during his presidency.

    No one does. He announced it himself:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrefKCaV8m4 (2 minutes)

    He said that he would fundamentally transform America from a place that used to be capitalist, where everyone could participate in the successes of Wall Street to where the hard working American could only succeed through his own work, not the investment in everyone else. From a place where we were able to choose for ourselves whether to get a loan for college, or whether to save for retirement into a place where we depended upon government for everything from college to healthcare; rather than owing the bank or participating in America, we would owe America for everything, and to pay back that debt, we would have to vote for Obama and the Democrats, who would do their best to make sure that we continued to owe them for all that we have and all that we are.

    Liberty would just be a word in the Constitution, that document of negative liberties (Obama’s words, my sarcasm). How evil Obama must think it to be.

    Free market capitalism is the most democratic economic system that we have, so far. The capitalism part allows even the lowliest among us to invest what he has into the economy and to reap the rewards of a successful investment. Even if that investment is a savings account that gets used to help a fellow American buy a home, go to college, or pay a medical bill.

    Free markets allow We the People to choose what to buy and how much we are willing to pay for it. If the shop wants to charge too much, then few of us buy until the price comes down to where we are willing to pay. Under Obama’s Obamacare, the prices are authorized by government, not determined by free market forces, and we are mandated to buy it, no matter the price or the consequences to our financial security. That kind of tyranny has never before been seen on this or any other continent in all of history: written, oral, or pre-historical times.

    That kind of tyranny is the fundamental transformation of America that Obama wanted, and it is what he got.

    Cotour,
    You wrote: “The real takeaway here is that there really are hard, concrete consequences to elections.”

    Correct. We have seen that an American tyranny is the consequence of the 2008 and 2012 elections.

    Now we have to see the consequences of having as our president the lifelong Democrat who cannot define conservatism rather than the guy who both knows what conservatism is and also knows how to work the system so that he does not break it while fixing it after it has been fundamentally transformed into a tyranny.

    You chose to vote for the liberal Democrat during the primary, now we are stuck with him instead of an actual, living, breathing conservative. How many faithless electors do you think that Ted Cruz would have had? I think zero, too. That is how much better Cruz would have been as a presidential candidate.

    What really needs to be answered, now, is whether the person not chosen also gets a pass for her evildoing.

  • Cotour

    “You chose to vote for the liberal Democrat during the primary, ”

    I would modify that statement for you Edward, what it should read is:

    “You chose to vote for a pragmatist during the primary and the presidential election”

    I have always seen him in those terms first and not as a “Liberal / Democrat”. I will tell you that there are many people in New York that are registered as a Democrat that 1. are registered that way only because they live in New York and 2. Are structured in that way because they do business in the City of New York. Trump has been more effective as an operator in New York structured as such as a general rule.

    In order to get real things done in the real world be a pragmatist first and a politician second.

  • Edward

    Cotour,
    You may think of liberal Democrats as pragmatists, but I do not. Trump is not one of those who chooses his political party based upon city of residence. He has supported the Democratic Party because he believes in the handouts that he received from them. He continues to think like a liberal Democrat, willing to impose tariffs in order to force his own will upon others. Despite claiming that he wants a balanced budget, he has no plan to achieve one and desires to spend, over the course of two terms, ten trillion dollars more than already projected.

    Trump liked government control, because he had the influence to use government to control others. He is one of those who believes that he is so smart that it will be him in charge when government finally takes over all control, except that unlike the academics who believe their own delusions of grandeur, Trump has actually achieved that position. Now he needs no influence, because he is the one with the power to directly control others, and he has stated and demonstrated that he will use that control on US businesses. So much for free markets.

    Even Trump himself admits that he, at the very least, was a liberal Democrat and compares himself with Reagan in that way. Unlike Reagan, Trump cannot define conservatism, but Reagan could not only define it, he often argued cogently for it. Reagan was a devoted, confirmed conservative before he ever ran for governor, much less for president.

    Trump is no Republican and can’t even define conservatism:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PEMWpdIYZA (3 minutes)
    1) Wants to conserve things (makes Greenpeace and the Sierra Club look conservative)
    2) Wants to balance budgets (makes Bill Clinton look conservative)
    3) Emotional about the military (San Francisco is so emotional about the military that they renamed Army Street).

    Trump got Reagan wrong: Reagan not only could define conservative, but he did so on many occasions.

    Marco Rubio has a better elevator speech on the definition:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3dCQKdxk0s (2 minutes)

    Here, Ronald Reagan explains conservatism:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE3sNY-niiA (4 minutes)
    How much of what he disagrees with sounds like the Obamacare mandate and the control over what may and may not be offered, as determined by government at prices that must be approved by government rather than free markets?

    An excellent definition of conservatism comes from Bill Whittle’s series of videos on what conservatives believe. Here he sums up his whole series in an elevator speech:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuv0K8H8ILM#t=598 (2 minutes)

  • Cotour

    THE SENATE ATTEMPTS TO TAKE THE IMMIGRATION ISSUE AWAY FROM TRUMP

    The Senate attempts to remove Trump from the immigration equation by offing $7 billion dollars for a wall and a three year temporary extension to the “DREAMER” / DACA issue as illegally formulated by Obama. I will assume that they believe that Trump will be unable to once again get the vote to remain president for a second term and then would be able to give it all away to the Democrats that desperately need their continued illegal immigration to perpetuate their party. Pure RINO / Leftist Democrat anti American political strategy.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/375377-senate-pivots-to-stopgap-dreamers-deal

    Trump must not budge one inch and waver and must become ruthless and mercenary in crafting his “Four pillars” immigration solution, let them shut it all down. Give the 1.8 million “Dreamers” their 12 year path to citizenship for fully funding the wall and the rewriting of the immigration law to end chain immigration and the immigration lottery, Period. Dragging them kicking and screaming to it.

    This is the make or break moment for Trump and America, as will be the Inspector General, Michael Horowitz government / FBI / DOJ / CIA corruption report coming out in the next few weeks. America is badly in need of drastic disruption to the pro forma political selling out and corrupt deals of the past 30 years by both party’s, we need one big political corruption enema! Trump, get your rubber gloves.

    Prepare to buckle up or bend over, America as Constitutionally formed lives and dies on these two issues.

  • Cotour

    All Democrat strategy being employed even by the lower court in order to de-fang Trump and his four pillars immigration solution?

    http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/375575-supreme-court-refuses-to-hear-trump-challenge-on-daca

    Push it all forward in order to save the now un American Democrat party which MUST have illegal immigration from its existential death spiral to see whether Trump’s power will be neutered and held hostage by a power shift in the mid term elections.

    Trump must find a way to keep the blame on the Democrats for the DACA failure and drag them all to the four pillars solution.

  • Garry

    The Trump administration asked the supreme Court to bypass a lower court and accept an appeal. They were expected to reject it, and basically said that they expected the lower court’s ruling soon, implying that they may hear an appeal of that ruling. The Supreme Court very rarely agrees to bypass an appeal to a lower court, so this is not a big deal.

  • Cotour

    My question is: If Obama created DACA in an Executive order, even though he himself stated and plainly understood that he did not have the power to create this “law” and it is not law then why does it persist in being an issue? ITS NOT LAW ITS AN EXECUTIVE ORDER.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/immigration-reform/what-daca-here-s-what-you-need-know-about-program-n798761

    So these manuevers in the courts have a purpose and that purpose is to keep out of reach this issue from Trumps influence. And it is very important for the Democrats that that happen because if it were forced they will loose and their foundation of manipulation and vote acquisition and growth dies because they are no longer a political party of and for Americans.

    So, Big deal / Little deal? Its a deal that must be broken just like the Democrat party must be broken if the country is to remain as formed under our Constitution. Make no mistake, long term the Democrats must continue their leftist drive because they die without it.

  • Garry

    The issue itself is a big deal; what I was saying was that the Supreme court’s refusal to skip over a lower court’s appeal is not a big deal.

  • Cotour

    Gary, my frustration is not with you but with the nature of the subject itself. It does not make logical sense to me.

    A president creates something that he himself agrees he can not do, and it stands?

    How does a court, Supreme or otherwise, allow something that should not be, be?

    To my previous point, it is all now just strategy with the goal of keeping the true American interested resolution that is needed from Trump and it relates to the 2018 midterm elections and the power dynamic that exists now and the potential for change that exists after. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I grow weary of how slow the wheels of politics churn.

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