Sally Yates, an American Hero

Reportedly, then President Obama told President-elect Trump to avoid appointing Michael Flynn to an office. Trump did so anyway; it is not generally known why.

  • Did Trump not pay attention?
  • Did he forget?
  • Did he not care?
  • Was he being contrary?

We may never know.

yatesSally Yates, a career Justice Dept. employee became acting Attorney General when President Trump took office. Convinced that National Security Director Flynn’s lies were a threat to national security, she made an appointment with White House Council Don McGahn. She informed him that the Trump Administration had a problem–what Flynn was telling Vice President Pence conflicted with the facts. Flynn was lying and the Russians knew it, which made him susceptible to blackmail. Evidently, McGahn took her report under advisement.

The next day, McGahn invited her back. He had some questions. He wanted to know why the Justice Department cared if Administration officials lied to each other. Potential national security breach, Yates explained. McGahn asked to see the evidence; Yates arranged for that. Before that happened, she was fired as acting AG.

Surprisingly, her firing had nothing to do with her attempt to save the Trump Administration from itself–she was fired for refusing to defend Trump’s Muslim ban which she considered indefensible. Subsequently, the Federal Courts agreed and the original ban was rescinded.

Today, hostile questioners wanted to know:

  • Why did you overrule your subordinates in refusing to defend the President’s order?
  • Why would an (acting) Attorney General not do whatever the President wants?

Ms. Yates replied that at her confirmation hearing she had been asked if she would oppose what a President wanted if she knew it was wrong. She had replied that she would. In this case, she had fulfilled her promise.

We need more officials like Sally Yates.



About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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11 Responses to Sally Yates, an American Hero

  1. catkestler says:

    Shared, as usual.
    Great information.


  2. Joe says:

    This is a test post


  3. Joe says:

    Someone has managed to place me on the “spam filter” for my wordpress posts. I guess they don’t like my politics. This is why I am posting under a new address. Please check your filter and see if you can do anything about it. Thanks.


  4. Aretha says:

    Why isn’t any news outlet reporting the obvious? Mr. Flynn put our nation at risk by being in bed with the Russians. He admitted he talked sanctions, what would stop him from talking national security matters? It looked like the Republicans were more interested in finding leaks rather than what is best for our nation. This is worse than Hillary’s emails.


  5. Joe says:

    Thanks. I hope I can post again.
    We live in a time when a person does the right thing and she is called a “hero”. For doing her job. To quote Donald Trump: Sad. Very sad.
    The issue now becomes why did Trump wait until the Washington Post ran a story about Flynn’s problems to fire him? He fired Yates the net day. He kept Flynn, knowing that he has taken money from the Russians and who knows what else? We now know that Trump knew on Jan 26. this story is not going away.


  6. whungerford says:

    If news outlets aren’t reporting more, it may be that much of interest is still secret. We may now know all we will ever know.


  7. whungerford says:

    It would be interesting to hear from Mike Flynn or Don McGahn. It doesn’t seem likely though. McGahn can claim executive privilege; Flynn demands immunity.


  8. whungerford says:

    I suspect by the time Sally Yate’s concern got to the President, it had been greatly watered down. Reportedly, what the President understood was something might be a little suspicious. Perhaps Don McGahn didn’t choose to present DOJ’s concern at full strength, or the President didn’t want to hear it. In either case, it would have been better if Trump had asked to hear it directly from Ms. Yates rather than from intermediaries. Similar things happen in business–an unwelcome report from below may be considerably softened before it reaches the CEO.


  9. whungerford says:

    Clicking on “Joe” above, which used to be a link to your articles, no longer works. I think there is a typo in the URL.


  10. Joe says:

    Sean Spicer said in a news conference that Trump was informed immediately. So, according to his press secretary, he knew. the process, I imagine, was this. Yates tells McGhan. McGhan tells Trump and Bannon. Bannon and Trump ask McGhan to discover if Yates thinks they are breaking the law. McGhan calls back Yates foor the second meeting. No reason for a second meeting unless McGhan has talked to Trump and Bannon about the problem and they have questions. Trump would not want to speak directly with Yates to maintain deniability. ( I think I have corrected the URL problem.)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. whungerford says:

    Per today’s news, they ignored Yate’s warning because she was a “partisan.”

    Yes, The Old Liberal link works again.


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