Sally Yates, the Acting Attorney General of the United States, for ten days refused to support President Trump’s ban on Muslims and other refugees entering the country, calling it unlawful, so he fired her

Trump says "You're Fired"

President Trumphad every right to say "you're fired" to Acting Attorney General Yates, and probably had no other option than to fire her, because, after telling local lawyers who are a part of the President’s legal team at the Department of Justice not to defend the administration’s ban on Syrian and other refugees from entering the United States, she gave him little recourse

Sally Quillian Yates, a 56-year-old lawyer appointed to the Justice Department by President Obama and therefore unlikely to remain in any DoJ office more than a few more weeks in any case, probably chose this means to depart the trump Administration as the most public protest she could make.

The Georgia native only served in the office as Acting Attorney General for 10 days before her orders to the Department of Justice not to defend President Trump’s Muslim ban in court earned her an unceremonious boot.

FISA court is critical to security

The Acting Attorney General holds a critical national security position until a permanent Attorney General, such as President Trump's nominee Jeff Sessions, takes office; the acting head of the DoJ is required to sign off on any secret applications to FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to monitor suspected terrorists and spies. Since this is a critical national security post, the Administration was prepared to immediately replace Ms Yates.

Since the enactment of the 1978 FISA Act, wiretaps and other violations of Constitutional rights have been approved by a secret group of judges known collectively as the FISA Court.

This was the only legal way seen to get reconcile the Constitutional rights of anyone within the US borders and the legitimate need to keep watch on suspected spies and terrorists.

This obviously has to be kept secret, so the head of the DoJ makes application to one of the judges on the FISA Court for permission to conduct surveillance on particular individuals, but this necessarily would all be done in complete secrecy.

The immediate replacement for Ms Yates, Dana Boente is a 33-year veteran of the DoJ and has mostly been concerned with public corruption investigations and prosecutions.

This is a very temporary position and no confirmation is required. However, if Sessions is not confirmed by the Senate as the next Attorney General, Mr Boente could end up in charge of the department for a month or more.

Because of the need for someone to head the DoJ and therefore authorised and legally capable of sending applications to the FISA Court, someone had to be named to replace the outgoing Assistant Attorney General as soon as possible, even if was just a rubber stamp appointment. That is nothing against Mr Boente who may be a fabulous lawyer, but it is just a simple fact of government that someone had to fill that position as soon as possible.