Posted tagged ‘Sally Yates’

The Administrative State Declares Independence

August 2, 2017

The Administrative State Declares Independence, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, August 1, 2017

Yates argues for a permanent bureaucracy in Washington that is impervious to the wishes of the voters, who may occasionally be so imprudent as to elect a Republican president. In Yates’s view, that must not be an obstacle to the liberal policies of the Justice Department or, by analogy, any of the dozens of other federal agencies that are manned nearly exclusively by liberal Democrats.

The administrative state is by far the greatest contemporary threat to the liberty of Americans. The appalling Sally Yates urges that the Constitution be left in the dust, and that unelected bureaucrats be elevated above the president whom they ostensibly serve. It is hard to imagine a theory more at odds with our Constitution or our political traditions.

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Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama holdover, recently authored one of the most pernicious columns within memory in the New York Times. Her column was titled, “Protect the Justice Department From President Trump.” Yates argued, in essence, that there exists an Executive Branch that is independent of, and superior to, the President–at least as long as that Executive Branch is staffed pretty much exclusively by Democrats. This is, of course, a boldly unconstitutional theory.

The invaluable Manhattan Contrarian deconstructed Yates’s novel theory:

As I have pointed out multiple times, there is nothing complicated about the constitutional law on presidential control of the Justice Department. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution places all of the executive power of the federal government in the President: “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” The Justice Department is an executive agency, and therefore reports to the President in every respect. That of course does not mean that it is a good idea for the President to get personally involved in day-to-day prosecutorial decisions; but he is perfectly entitled to do so if he wants. And he certainly has final say on all policies of the Department.

Yates has a different view. Here are a few key quotes from her op-ed:

The president is attempting to dismantle the rule of law, destroy the time-honored independence of the Justice Department, and undermine the career men and women who are devoted to seeking justice day in and day out, regardless of which political party is in power. . . . [Ed.: When liberals refer to the “rule of law,” they nearly always mean rule by liberal lawyers, having no reference to any actual laws.]

The Justice Department is not just another federal agency. It is charged with fulfilling our country’s promise of equal and impartial justice for all. As an agency with the authority to deprive citizens of their liberty, its investigations and prosecutions must be conducted free from any political interference or influence, and decisions must be made based solely on the facts and the law. To fulfill this weighty responsibility, past administrations, both Democratic and Republican, have jealously guarded a strict separation between the Justice Department and the White House when it comes to investigations and prosecutions. While there may be interaction on broad policies, any White House involvement in cases or investigations, including whom or what to investigate, has been flatly forbidden.

Yates doesn’t trouble herself to give us a citation of something in the Constitution that supports her position. Nor does Yates inform us of the origin of what she calls the “time honored” “strict separation between the Justice Department and the White House” that has supposedly been followed by “past administrations, both Democratic and Republican.” … If we’re going to talk about “dismantl[ing] the rule of law,” how about the rule that says that every four years the people get to elect a new guy, with policies different from the prior guy, and the new guy gets to implement his policies?

This is the heart of the matter, of course. Yates argues for a permanent bureaucracy in Washington that is impervious to the wishes of the voters, who may occasionally be so imprudent as to elect a Republican president. In Yates’s view, that must not be an obstacle to the liberal policies of the Justice Department or, by analogy, any of the dozens of other federal agencies that are manned nearly exclusively by liberal Democrats.

The permanent staff of the Department of Justice, which Yates wants to be independent of, and superior to, any president who is actually elected by American voters, is relentlessly left-wing. The Contrarian documents this in great detail at the link; this is just a sample:

Just in case you have the exceedingly naive impression that the lawyers at the Department of Justice really are neutral and apolitical, and just “seeking justice,” perhaps it is time for a brief history lesson focusing on the years of the Obama administration. Here goes:

* First, Jonathan Swan at The Hill on October 26, 2016, helpfully did a comprehensive analysis of political contributions made by bureaucrats in the various federal agencies in the 2016 election cycle. Here’s the result for the Justice Department: “Employees of the Department of Justice, which investigated Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State, gave Clinton 97 percent of their donations. Trump received $8,756 from DOJ employees compared with $286,797 for Clinton.”

The administrative state is by far the greatest contemporary threat to the liberty of Americans. The appalling Sally Yates urges that the Constitution be left in the dust, and that unelected bureaucrats be elevated above the president whom they ostensibly serve. It is hard to imagine a theory more at odds with our Constitution or our political traditions.

Sally Yates: What Rough Beast

May 14, 2017

Sally Yates: What Rough Beast, Power LineScott Johnson, May 14, 2017

(Please see also, Trump’s “Muslim Ban,” Obamacare and Sally Yates. — DM)

In the heart of her headline making testimony, Yates explained why she had found Flynn subject to blackmail by — who else? — the Russians. Andy McCarthy says it ain’t so in “Sally Yates: Much ado about nothing new.” At RedState Streiff concurs. On the contrary, according to Paul Sherry in the New York Post, “Sally Yates was the real blackmailer.” Sperry cogently concludes: “Yates was no Paul Revere saving the nation from Russian moles. She was a partisan hack trying to save Obama’s liberal legacy.”

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Sally Yates testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee this past Monday, but it already feels like ancient history. Yates testified with former DNI James Clapper about events leading to the termination of Michael Flynn as President Trump’s National Security Adviser only days into his job.

At the time of the events in issue Yates served as Acting Attorney General, holding over from the Obama administration until her dismissal by President Trump on January 30. I find her slight southern accent endearing but, like so many Obama administration apparatchiks, Yates is one slippery customer and (to borrow a phrase from the better Yeats) rough beast.

Eli Lake provided an early take on the events leading to Flynn’s firing in “The political assassination of Michael Flynn” Lake’s subhead puts it this way: “Flynn was the appetizer. Trump is the main course.”

In her testimony Yates explained why she refused to defend President Trump’s first immigration executive order (the so-called “travel ban”) in the related judicial proceedings. Not many noticed — certainly no one in the mainstream media noticed — that Yates’s testimony veered from her original explanation. As Jack Goldsmith put it at Lawfare, Yates changed her tune. As I say, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, Yates is one slippery customer. Goldsmith tacitly proves this point to a fare-thee-well.

In the heart of her headline making testimony, Yates explained why she had found Flynn subject to blackmail by — who else? — the Russians. Andy McCarthy says it ain’t so in “Sally Yates: Much ado about nothing new.” At RedState Streiff concurs. On the contrary, according to Paul Sherry in the New York Post, “Sally Yates was the real blackmailer.” Sperry cogently concludes: “Yates was no Paul Revere saving the nation from Russian moles. She was a partisan hack trying to save Obama’s liberal legacy.”

We are inundated with the Democrats’ propaganda and the related misinformation served up by the Democrats’ mainstream media adjunct. The chaos within the Trump information has left it standing unchallenged in the case of Sally Yates, which serves to open a window onto the critical matters on which she has had her hands.

Judicial Watch Sues Justice Department for Sally Yates’ Emails While She Served as Trump Acting Attorney General

May 9, 2017

Judicial Watch Sues Justice Department for Sally Yates’ Emails While She Served as Trump Acting Attorney General, Judicial Watch, May 8, 2017

“Between her involvement in the Russian surveillance scandal and her lawless effort to thwart President Trump’s immigration executive order, Sally Yates’ short tenure as the acting Attorney General was remarkably troubling,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Her email traffic might provide a window into how the anti-Trump ‘deep state’ abused the Justice Department.”

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(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for emails of former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates from her government account.  The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-00832)).

The suit was filed after the Justice Department failed to respond to a February 1, 2017, FOIA request seeking access to her emails between January 21, 2017, and January 31, 2017.

Yates was appointed by President Obama as U.S. Attorney in northern Georgia and was later confirmed as Deputy Attorney General. In January 2017 she became acting Attorney General for President Trump.

Ms. Yates was involved in the controversy concerning Gen. Michael Flynn, allegedly warning the Trump White House in early January about General Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak.  (Judicial Watch is separately suing for records concerning the surveillance and subsequent leaks regarding General Flynn.)

On January 30, Yates ordered the Justice Department not to defend President Trump’s January 27 executive order seeking a travel ban from seven Middle Eastern countries.  That same day, President Trump fired her for refusing to defend the action.

“Between her involvement in the Russian surveillance scandal and her lawless effort to thwart President Trump’s immigration executive order, Sally Yates’ short tenure as the acting Attorney General was remarkably troubling,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Her email traffic might provide a window into how the anti-Trump ‘deep state’ abused the Justice Department.”