Tag Archives: Attorney General

Silencing Sally Yates

Nancy Le Tourneau at the Political Animal blog writes about the anatomy of a coverup. Yates Was Warned. Nevertheless, She Persisted:

The words that sparked the resistance movement to rally in support of Sen. Elizabeth Warren when McConnell tried to silence her now apply to Sally Yates. If you remember, she is the woman who served as the Deputy Attorney General in the Obama administration and was initially asked to stay on as the Acting Attorney General for Trump until he fired her for refusing to defend his Muslim travel ban.

Or was there another reason?

[Four days earlier], Yates warned the White House that the statements made by Michael Flynn about his contacts with the Russian Ambassador were not true and could potentially be used as blackmail against him, a warning that the White House chose to ignore until the information became public and Flynn was fired.

Yates is now eager to talk to congressional investigators about those developments.

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Trump fires a consummate public servant for defying his unconstitutional and unlawful executive order

The Attorney General is supposed to maintain arms-length independence from the political influence of the White House in “the pursuit of justice.”  The last time a president fired someone in the attorney general’s office, it was Richard Nixon executing the infamous Saturday Night Massacre at the height of the Watergate scandal.

Last night, Donald Trump fired acting attorney general Sally Q. Yates for defying him by announcing that Justice Department lawyers would not defend  his executive order for a Muslim travel ban and a religious test for entry into the United States against legal challenges. Trump Fires Acting Attorney General Who Defied Him.

Nancy LeTourneau at the Political Animal blog tells us What You Should Know About the Public Servant Trump Just Fired, Sally Yates:

Sally Yates, who served as Deputy Attorney General since 2015, was asked by the Trump administration to be the Acting Attorney General until their nominee—Jeff Sessions—was confirmed. Yesterday she issued a memo to the top lawyers in the Justice Department directing them to not defend Trump’s executive order on immigrants and refugees as long as she was in that position. You can read her memo here.

By the end of the day, Trump fired Yates for taking that action, accusing her of “betraying the Justice Department” and suggesting that she is “weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.” While some have compared this to Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre,” it might not rise to that level—but it certainly sends a chilling message to anyone in the federal bureaucracy who might contemplate resisting the administration.

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A troika of catastrophic cabinet picks

I have to agree with Martin Longman’s analysis at the Political Animal blog on Trump’s initial cabinet picks. Trump Makes Three Catastrophic Picks:

[Donald Trump] announced Mike Flynn as his National Security Advisor, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as his Attorney General and Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas as his director of Central Intelligence. All three are mind-bogglingly disastrous choices, so how can you give all of them the attention they deserve?

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Let me just give the briefest sketch of my problems with these three appointments.

To put it bluntly, I think Mike Flynn’s relationship to Vladimir Putin needs to be examined very, very closely. But what makes me sick to my stomach is that the position of National Security Advisor does not require Senate confirmation. To begin to understand my concerns about Flynn, you should start by reading a Politico Magazine article by Michael Crowley from their May/June 2016 issue. The short version is that Flynn was fired as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and then wound up eighteen months later sitting two seats from Putin at the 10-year anniversary gala for RT, the Russian’s state-propaganda news network. He then began making (presumably paid) appearances on the network where he took a line that was very pleasing to Putin.

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GOP filibuster of Loretta Lynch fails (Updated)

The last hurdle to a final vote on Loretta Lynch for Attorney General was cleared this morning when a feeble attempt by Tea-Publicans to filibuster her nomination failed. Loretta Lynch on verge of confirmation:

Loretta_LynchSenators on Thursday moved toward confirming Loretta Lynch as the nation’s next attorney general.

In a 66 to 34 vote, senators invoked cloture on President Obama’s nominee, setting up a final vote later this afternoon.

“But [Tea-Publican dead-enders] also lined up ahead of the procedural vote to urge their colleagues to block Lynch’s nomination,” i.e., anti-immigrant nativist Jeff Sessions, and demagogue bomb-thrower Ted Cruz, for example.

The cloture vote produced some interesting results. While Arizona’s angry old man, John McCain, continues to vote against President Obama out of pure spite that that Black man in the White House denied him his rightful destiny to be president, McCain’s partners in the New Three Stooges, Little Lindsey Graham (who is threatening to run for president), and “Shemp,” aka Kelly Ayotte, voted for cloture. Damn Johnny, when you’ve lost the Stooges . . . And McNasty’s own seat mate, Jeff Flake, also voted for cloture. You’re out there on an island, Johnny.

GOP presidential wannabes Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio all voted against cloture, because dammit, the GOP nativist and racist base in GOP primaries demand it! Give the haters what they want, and they’ll want me!

Loretta Lynch is expected to be confirmed by a final vote later today.

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Loretta Lynch to get confirmation vote

After engaging in a record delay of a confirmation vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch Confirmation Vote Deadlock a US Postwar First, I am sure the Beltway media villagers will now spin yet another fable about how bipartisan cooperation is breaking out in the Capitol, Bipartisanship breaks out on Capitol Hill _ at least for now, with news that the Senate has reached deal to vote on AG nominee Loretta Lynch:

Loretta_LynchSenate leaders on Tuesday morning announced a deal on a long-stalled anti-human-trafficking bill, setting up a vote to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general as soon as tomorrow.

“I’m glad we can say there is a bipartisan proposal that will allow us to complete action on this legislation so we can provide help to the victims who desperately need it,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on the Senate floor.

“As soon as we finish the trafficking bill, as I’ve indicated for some time now, we’ll move to the president’s nominee for attorney general in the next day or so,” he added.

Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said he expected final passage of the anti-trafficking bill “by tomorrow.”

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Free Eric Holder campaign

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new fashion trend sweeping the halls of the Justice Department for spring – “Free Eric Holder’’ wristbands, an inside joke among Attorney General Eric Holder‘s top aides and supporters about the months-long political standoff over the Senate confirmation of his successor, Loretta Lynch. Fashion Statement at Justice: ‘Free Eric Holder’ Wristbands:

EricHolderWristbandThe black rubber bracelets were the idea of Molly Moran, a senior Justice Department official, according to people who have received them. The wristbands, like the kind people wear to support various charities or causes, started appearing on staffers’ wrists a couple weeks ago, when it became clear there was no end in sight to the standoff over the nomination of Loretta Lynch.

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[A] Senate floor vote on Ms. Lynch is weeks–if not months–away because of a standoff between Democrats and Republicans over an abortion provision in a human trafficking bill.

The irony of the situation is that congressional Republicans spent years trying to force Mr. Holder out of his job.

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