Trump sacks acting Attorney-General over Muslim ban finding

THE acting US Attorney General who declared a White House immigration ban illegal has been fired by President Trump.

Sally Yates earlier today issued a letter to her staff stating she was 'not convinced the Executive Order is lawful' and that 'as I am the Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defence of the Executive Order'.

She is no longer the Acting Attorney General.

President Trump has just publically sacked the legal head in a blistering statement.

"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...

"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."

President Trump has appointed Dana Boente, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to take up the role in her stead.

TRUMP MULLS EXPELLING UNEMPLOYED IMMIGRANTS

President Trump is considering an executive order targeting immigrants for deportation if they are dependent on government assistance, a draft document suggests.

The draft order obtained by The Associated Press calls for the identification and removal "as expeditiously as possible" of any foreigner who takes certain kinds of public welfare benefits.

Such immigrants have been barred from the US for the better part of a century and they can already be deported. The proposed order appears to signal a Trump administration effort to vigorously crack down on such welfare cases.

Another draft order under consideration would make changes to several of the government's foreign worker visa programs. The White House did not immediately respond to AP requests for comments on the draft orders.

TRUMP TRAVEL BAN DEALT A LEGAL BLOW

'I am not convinced the Executive Order is lawful'. With those words, the acting US Attorney General has ordered her lawyers not to defend President Donald Trump's travel ban.

In a statement issued late this morning, Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates said: "My responsibility is to ensure 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 the facts ... At present, I am not convinced the defence 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 defence of the Executive Order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so."

But her decision is likely to be just another hiccup in President Trump's campaign to halt immigration from seven mainly Muslim countries in the Middle East.

Ms Yates is due to be ousted once the President's nominee, chief Trump campaign adviser Jeff Sessions, is confirmed in the role by the US Senate.

Until then, Ms Yates is the only person with the authority to sign foreign surveillance warrants. If Trump fires her, intelligence agencies will be hamstrung until Sessions can take up the post.

News Corp Australia


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