The United States Attorney General, the head of the United States Department of Justice per 28 U.S.C. § 503, is concerned with legal affairs, and is the chief law enforcement officer and chief lawyer of the United States government.
The rule of law has been restored with the firing on January 30th, 2017 of acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Yates is an Obama appointee who is used to the civil rights and civil liberties model under the former president. Yates in a letter to all Department of Justice attorneys wrote:
My role is different from that of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which, through administrations of both parties, has reviewed Executive Orders for form and legality before they are issued. OLC’s review is limited to the narrow question of whether, in OLC’s view, a proposed Executive Order is lawful on its face and properly drafted. Its review does not take account of statements made by an administration or it surrogates close in time to the issuance of an Executive Order that may bear on the order’s purpose. And importantly, it does not address whether any policy choice embodied in an Executive Order is wise or just. [Emphasis added]
Determining the wisdom or justness of a Presidential Executive order is not the role of the United States Attorney General. Statements made by the “administration or its surrogates” have been eminently clear in protecting the American people from radical Islamic terrorists. Enforcing the Constitution, defending the United States government and the American people are the primary roles of the U.S. Attorney General. Justice is blind.
Yates, like Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder, all looked at justice via the prism of civil rights/civil liberties rather than the rule of law. Certain groups were treated differently under the law during the previous administration. Yates, Lynch and Holder were more concerned with social justice (a political position) rather than the rule of law under the U.S. Constitution.
With the firing of Yates and the appointment of Acting Attorney General Dana Boente, the rule of law has been reinstated.
The U.S. Government Accounting office in a January 2017 report titled “BORDER SECURITY: CBP Aims to Prevent High-Risk Travelers from Boarding U.S.- Bound Flights, but Needs to Evaluate Program Performance wrote:
CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] data show that it identified and interdicted over 22,000 high-risk air travelers in fiscal year 2015 through its predeparture programs. CBP officers at Preclearance locations determined that 10,648 of the approximately 16 million air travelers seeking admission to the United States through such locations were inadmissible. Similarly, CBP, through its IAP, JSP, and RCLG locations, made 11,589 no-board recommendations to air carriers for the approximately 88 million air travelers bound for the United States from such locations. While CBP’s predeparture programs have helped identify and interdict high-risk travelers, CBP has not fully evaluated the overall effectiveness of these programs using performance measures and baselines. [Emphasis added]
President Trump released the following statement on his Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States:
Statement Regarding Recent Executive Order Concerning Extreme Vetting
“America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border. America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave.
We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say. My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror. To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting.
This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days.
I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria. My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering.”
White House statement on firing of Sally Yates:
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.
“I am honored to serve President Trump in this role until Senator Sessions is confirmed. I will defend and enforce the laws of our country to ensure that our people and our nation are protected,” said Dana Boente, Acting Attorney General.”
Full text of Sally Yates sent the following letter to all attorneys in the Department of Justice:
On January 27, 2017, the President signed an Executive Order regarding immigrants and refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries. The order has now been challenged in a number of jurisdictions. As the Acting Attorney General, it is my ultimate responsibility to determine the position of the Department of Justice in these actions.
My role is different from that of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which, through administrations of both parties, has reviewed Executive Orders for form and legality before they are issued. OLC’s review is limited to the narrow question of whether, in OLC’s view, a proposed Executive Order is lawful on its face and properly drafted. Its review does not take account of statements made by an administration or it surrogates close in time to the issuance of an Executive Order that may bear on the order’s purpose. And importantly, it does not address whether any policy choice embodied in an Executive Order is wise or just.
Similarly, in litigation, DOJ Civil Division lawyers are charged with advancing reasonable legal arguments that can be made supporting an Executive Order. But my role as leader of this institution is different and broader. My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts. In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right. At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful.
Consequently, for as long as I am the Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.
There’s a new reality show in Washington, D.C. called “The Betrayer.” The White House will ferret out those bureaucrats and political appointees who do not abide by their sacred sworn duty to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.
By writing her letter Yates betrayed the United States and endangered its national security. The result: Your fired!