Yates Shuts Down GOP Senator On Trump Travel Ban: ‘It Was Not Lawful’ (VIDEO)
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday defended her decision not to enforce President Donald Trump’s original executive order barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, arguing it was “unlawful” and “inconsistent with the principles of the Department of Justice.”
On Capitol Hill to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee investigating Russia’s interference in the U.S. election, Yates was instead pressed by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) about her refusal to enforce the Trump administration’s so-called travel ban.
“What is your authority to overrule the Office of Legal Counsel?” Cornyn asked Yates.
Yates said that the Office of Legal Counsel looks only at the face of an executive order to determine “whether there is some set of circumstances under which at least some part of the executive order may be lawful.” She added that the office does not look at statements that may bear on the “intent and purpose” of an executive order, which she did.
“I don’t know how you can say it was lawful and say that it was within your prerogative to refuse the court of law and leave it to the court to decide,” Cornyn said later in the exchange.
“Senator, I did not say it was lawful,” Yates said. “I said it was unlawful.” Post