New Acting AG Will Enforce Trump Immigration Order

But Dana Boente has just days to go on the job
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2017 6:23 AM CST
Updated Jan 31, 2017 6:37 AM CST
New Acting AG Will Only Be on the Job a Few Days
In this 2012 photo, Dana Boente, then-First Assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, leaves federal court in Alexandria, Va.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Dana Boente was sworn in as acting attorney general Monday night after President Trump fired Sally Yates for defying his immigration order, but he won't be in the job for long: The long-serving federal prosecutor will be replaced by GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions as soon as he receives Senate confirmation, which is expected to take a few days at most, CNN reports. "I am honored to serve President Trump in this role until Senator Sessions is confirmed," Boente, who has been with the Justice Department for 31 years, said in a statement. Boente tells the Washington Post that he will defend Trump's order and has told others to do the same.

Reuters notes that it is highly unusual for top Justice Department officials to publicly break with a president, with the most famous example being the 1973 "Saturday Night Massacre," when then-AG Elliot Richardson and his deputy quit after Richard Nixon asked them to fire the special prosecutor investigating him. On the Senate floor Monday night, Sen. Chuck Schumer called Yates' firing a "Monday night massacre" and praised her "brave act," reports Politico. The flip side of that sentiment comes from an unnamed Trump aide, who says, "She knew what she was doing and she knew she'd be fired. She just wanted the publicity." Yates was just days away from stepping down from the Justice Department after a 27-year career. (Read more attorney general stories.)

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