Sheila Jackson Lee: ‘Sally Yates is a person of honor, intellect, integrity’

Jackson Lee: “As a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, I have worked closely with Deputy and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, whom I know to be a person of honor, intellect, and integrity. Instead of firing Ms. Yates for her fidelity to the Constitution, the President should have consulted her, in her capacity as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, before issuing his unconstitutional and discriminatory executive order banning Muslims from predominately Muslim countries from entering the United States.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees today released the following statement in response to the announcement by the President that he has relieved Acting Attorney General Sally Yates of her duties in view of her stated position that the Department of Justice cannot defend the constitutionality of the President’s executive order banning Muslims from predominately Muslim countries from entering the United States:

“As a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, I have worked closely with Deputy and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, whom I know to be a person of honor, intellect, and integrity. Instead of firing Ms. Yates for her fidelity to the Constitution, the President should have consulted her, in her capacity as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, prior to the issuance his unconstitutional and discriminatory executive order banning Muslims from predominately Muslim countries from entering the United States.

“The Trump Administration wrongly accuses Acting Attorney General Yates of committing an act of betrayal against the Department of Justice and the Administration. This assertion reflects the President’s fundamental misunderstanding of the Attorney General’s role. The Attorney General of the United States is not the president’s lawyer. He or she is the lawyer for the American people. The Attorney General leads the Department of Justice and justice is the client and the mission. While it is important that the Attorney General have the trust of the President, it is essential that he or she have the trust and confidence of the American people.

“Sally Yates’s record and career demonstrated that she was an Acting Attorney General the American people could trust. It now time for the President to demonstrate that he can discharge the duties of the nation’s Chief Executive in a manner that inspires and warrants public trust and confidence.” 

Congresswoman Jackson Lee is a Democrat from Texas’s 18th Congressional District. She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security and is Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.