Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired by President Trump earlier this year for refusing to enforce his travel order on immigration. She stuck by her insubordination during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May, explaining she could not ask her employees to enforce something they believed was discriminatory and unconstitutional. At the Aspen Ideas Festival Tuesday, Yates again said she has no regrets, while also offering fresh criticism for the current administration's protocols.
"I couldn't send [DOJ] lawyers in to defend something based on a defense I didn't believe was grounded in truth," she said Tuesday.
Yates added that she and her team were not properly informed about the travel order. She herself only found out about it on the internet.
Yates also weighed in on the investigation into possible collusion between Trump associates and the Kremlin, which has thus far produced no evidence. Yet, she is concerned by the president's behavior throughout the process and as former FBI Director Robert Mueller prepares to lead the special counsel probe into the matter.
“Surely [criminality is] not our bar. That’s not the standard of conduct that we’re looking for from our president or our administration," she said in a sweeping panel discussion at the Aspen Ideas Festival."I mean, It shouldn’t just be whether you’ve committed a felony or not. It should also be whether or not you’re observing the kinds of norms that we’ve been talking about here today.”
Yates has also criticized current Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his take on criminal justice reform. She penned this Washington Post op-ed entitled, "Making America Scared Again Won't Make Us Any Safer," in which she questioned Sessions' decision to reinstate the "harsh, indiscriminate use of mandatory minimum drug sentences."
Despite her vast criticism of the Trump's DOJ, Yates praised the thousands of current DOJ employees who she believes are competent and patriotic during her appearance at the Aspen summit.
"I don't think all is lost," she concluded.