White House Ousts Acting Attorney General After Immigration-Ban Defiance – By Devlin Barrett and  Damian Paletta Updated Jan. 31, 2017 12:08 a.m. ET


Sally Yates, holdover Obama appointee, is replaced by Virginia U.S. attorney Dana Boente

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is fired by the White House after she instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending immigration from seven countries.

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is fired by the White House after she instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending immigration from seven countries. Photo: J. David Ake/Associated Press

WASHINGTON—The White House on Monday fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for telling government lawyers not to defend an executive order signed by President Donald Trump suspending immigration from seven countries out of concerns that terrorists from those countries might enter the U.S.

Ms. Yates learned of her firing Monday evening, in a letter from the White House hand-delivered to her office, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In a statement, the White House said Ms. Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.”

Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, will be acting attorney general until Mr. Trump’s attorney general nominee, Jeff Sessions, is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, which could happen next week.

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