Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My Thoughts on the Sally Yates Firing

Hat tip Dov

The left is reacting predictably in horror MSNBC and CNN are dredging back memories of Richard Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre. Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC calls the Monday Night Massacre.President Trump's firing of acting attorney general Sally Yates fro trying to sabotage the President's travel ban. She is now the hero of the left.

Sally Yates was confirmed as deputy attorney general last year despite some Republican opposition due to her involvement in defending the government against a lawsuit by 26 states over the Obama administration's granting status to millions of illegal immigrants.  See the below article by Josh Gerstein (Politico)  from last year.,

Sally Yates confirmed as No. 2 at Justice Department

05/13/15 02:35 PM EDT
The Senate easily confirmed a veteran federal prosecutor from Georgia as deputy attorney general Wednesday, despite a protest by some Republicans angry over President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.
Senators voted, 84-12, to confirm Sally Yates in the Justice Department's No. 2 job — a post she has filled on an acting basis since January.
On the floor a couple of hours before the vote, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) urged his colleagues to defeat Yates. Sessions said he had no quibble with her track record, but objected to what he said was her involvement in defending the federal government against a lawsuit 26 states have filed challenging unilateral actions Obama took in November to grant millions of illegal immigrants quasi-legal status and work permits.

Based on what I see I support this firing and would add that there are differences between this firing and Nixon's firing of his attorney general, Elliot Richardson, in 1973 at the height of the Watergate scandal.

At that time, Nixon was resisting the demands of special prosecutor Archibald Cox to turn over white house tapes. Richardson refused Nixon's order to fire Cox, at which time Richardson was fired. The next AG in line, William Ruckelshaus, also refused to fire Cox and was fired as well. The job then fell to Robert Bork, who complied with Nixon's order.

In my view and with the benefit of history, I think Nixon was acting as an outlaw. He was attempting to evade detection of his role in the Watergate cover up. In this case, Trump was faced with an insubordinate acting AG who was attempting to have DOJ ignore the order, which is being legally challenged in court, but which I think will be upheld.

Rightfully or wrongfully, the Justice Department, like other federal agencies, has many political hires. Trump will surely place his own. Yates was a holdover from the Obama DOJ. She was attempting to inject her own political views in opposition to the President's policy. She is no hero. She is just another political hack and she needed to go.

1 comment:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Although I also thought of the Saturday Night Massacre (I was alive when it happened) you are right that President Trump is not trying to prevent prosecution of himself, he is merely outraged that the top official currently on duty at DOJ wouldn't defend his executive order. I've read some interesting reports on Senator Sessions's examination of Yates at her confirmation hearing. Basically, he wanted to know, if executive policy violated the constitution, would she consider it part of her job to tell the president so, or to defend whatever the president did. Oh, the irony of it all...