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Justice Head Tells Staff Not to Defend Trump Refugee Order

Yates said in a memo Monday that she is not convinced that Trump's order is lawful, or that its defense is consistent with the department's obligation to "always seek justice and stand for what is right"
By The News · 30 of January 2017 18:06:35
The vigil is in support of travelers affected by the executive order restricting travel from seven primarily Muslim countries, Demonstrators chant outside Tom Bradley International Terminal during a protest by airport service workers from United Service Workers West union Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, at Los Angeles International Airport. The vigil is in support of travelers affected by the executive order restricting travel from seven primarily Muslim countries. photo: AP/Chris Carlson, photo: AP/Chris Carlson

WASHINGTON – Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a Democratic appointee, says she’s directed Justice Department attorneys not to defend President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees.

Yates said in a memo Monday that she is not convinced that Trump’s order is lawful, or that its defense is consistent with the department’s obligation to “always seek justice and stand for what is right.”

Yates was appointed deputy attorney general by President Barack Obama. She became acting attorney general once Loretta Lynch left the position.

Her directive will be in place until she leaves the department, which will happen once the Senate confirms Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general.

JULIE PACE