On Monday, President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for not enforcing the law regarding his executive order regarding a migrant-travel ban.
From a White House statement regarding the firing:
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.
Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.
It is time to get serious about protecting our country. Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.
Tonight, President Trump relieved Ms. Yates of her duties and subsequently named Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to 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.
Yates, and Obama holdover, wrote a letter to department attorneys expressing her disapproval of the executive order.
“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,” she wrote.
She went on to tell the Justice Department not to defend the executive order, which placed a 90-day ban on immigration into the US from seven Muslim majority nations.
“I am honored to serve President Trump in this role until Senator Sessions is confirmed. I will defend and enforce the laws of our country to ensure that our people and our nation are protected,” said Dana Boente, Acting Attorney General.
Within an hour of the announcement, Boente was sworn into office. He immediately rescinded Yates’ order.
The new acting attorney general, Dana Boente, has revoked Sally Yates order not to defend Trump's travel ban order pic.twitter.com/1w2vhhJi50
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) January 31, 2017
Dana J. Boente was nominated by President Barack Obama on Oct. 8, 2015, and confirmed by the United States Senate on Dec. 15, 2015, as the 60th U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA). As the chief federal law enforcement for the district, which includes offices in Alexandria, Richmond, Norfolk and Newport News, Boente supervises the prosecution of federal crimes and the litigation of federal civil matters.
Boente is a 31-year veteran of the Department of Justice, and has spent his professional career in public service. He began as a law clerk to Chief U.S. District Judge J. Waldo Ackerman for the Central District of Illinois in 1982. In 1984, he joined the Tax Division’s Criminal Section as part of the Attorney General’s Honors Program. In January 2001, Boente became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Fraud Unit of EDVA. He was detailed to the Tax Division in August 2005 to serve as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General. Boente returned to EDVA when he was selected as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney in May 2007, and later served as the U.S. Attorney for EDVA from October 2008 through September 2009. In December 2012, Boente was appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, a position he held until September 2013. He became the Acting U.S. Attorney for EDVA by virtue of the Vacancy Reform Act on Sept. 23, 2013, and served in that position until Dec. 15, 2015.
Boente is a graduate of St. Louis University (B.S.B.A. and M.B.A.) and its School of Law (J.D.). He has lived in Northern Virginia for 29 years.