WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) – Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, has been sworn in as the new acting Attorney General after President Donald Trump fired Sally Yates for refusing to enforce his travel ban.
White House spokesman Michael Short says Boente was sworn in around 9 p.m. Monday.
The hastily arranged ceremony came after Yates was terminated for instructing Justice Department lawyers to stop defending Trump’s travel and refugee ban. The president’s order from Friday temporarily suspends the U.S. refugee program and bars immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.
Yates publicly questioned the constitutionality of the executive order and said she was not convinced it was lawful or consistent with the agency’s obligation “to stand for what is right.”
The White House says in a statement that Yates, a Democratic appointee, was “weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration” and had “betrayed the Department of Justice” by refusing to enforce Trump’s order.
Boente has ordered the Justice Department to “do our sworn duty” and defend Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees. He said in a statement issued by the Justice Department that Trump’s executive order is “both lawful on its face and properly drafted.”
Boente expected to serve until Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for the position is confirmed by the Senate.
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