Today the Senate Judiciary subcommittee heard testimony from former acting attorney general Sally Yates and James Clapper, former director of national intelligence. The hearing had all the usual partisan questions with each democrat praising the two Obama appointees and then ending their questions with a call for a special prosecutor, while Republicans seemed more concerned with unmasking, leaks of classified information and in particular the unique decision of then acting attorney general Yates not to defend President Trump's travel ban.
After Senator Graham asked both Yates & Clapper if there was any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians -Clapper said he had seen no such evidence, Yates said she "couldn't answer that" - we finally heard what we already knew about Yates warning Trump legal counsel Don McGahn. She told of the "concern" she had of how Flynn had lied to the Vice President and how the American public had been misled and how Flynn had "compromised" himself.
Then Senate Republicans began to ask her about her refusal to defend the travel ban even though the DOJ office of legal counsel had determined the ban to be lawful.
Senator Ted Cruz cited the statute in the US code which grants a President the right to impose restrictions to anyone he believes to be a security risk. Yates responded that she was concerned about "a fundamental issue of religious freedom and not some arcane statute" and she was looking at "the President's intent"!
Cruz then asked " In the over 200 years of the Department of Justice history, are you aware of any instance in which the Department of Justice has formally approved the legality of a policy, and three days later, the attorney general has directed the department not to follow that policy, and defend that policy?
Yates responded with "I'm not. But I'm also not aware of a situation where the Office of Legal Counsel was advised not to tell the attorney general about it until after it was over.
Cruz was able to deliver one better with "I would note, that might be the case, if there's reason to suspect partisanship".
There can be no doubt about Yates ideology and the silly mistake Donald Trump made in asking an Obama deputy AG to stay on and run the department until Jeff Sessions was appointed. Her refusal to defend the travel ban was purely ideological. Even if it were a Muslim ban - with a ban on all Muslim countries - the safety & security of American citizens would take precedence over foreign people in other countries with no rights under the US constitution. She did perform well and looked confident and prepared.
Yates is now the heroine of the angry left....
This is where Sally Yates political career begins