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Here's exactly what the Attorney General said before Donald Trump fired her

“I am responsible for ensuring the positions we take in court remain consistent with the institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump fired the acting attorney general Sally Yates after she ordered Justice Department lawyers not to defend his controversial immigration orders.

Yates, who was placed in her role by the Obama administration, wrote the below letter to lawyers yesterday:

letter Source: The New York Times

It states: “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 the positions we take in court remain consistent with the 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.”

sally Attorney General Sally Yates Source: J David Ake AP/Press Association Images

Trump fired her shortly afterwards.

In reply, the White House released the below 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.

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

The statement added that federal prosecutor Dana Boente will 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”.

Refugee ban

On Friday, Trump signed an executive order barring all refugees from entering the US for three months. Those from war-ravaged Syria were set to be banned from entering the country indefinitely. Trump said the ban was necessary to prevent “radical Islamic terrorists” from entering the nation.

The ban affects people from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It led to people en route to the US being detained at airports, sparking several protests.

Over the weekend, a federal judge issued an emergency order temporarily barring the US from deporting people, saying travellers who had been detained had a strong argument their legal rights had been violated.

Contains reporting from AP

Read: Trump sacks attorney general for refusing to back his travel ban

Read: ‘A father to everyone’: Tributes paid to Quebec shooting victims

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Órla Ryan

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