Dems Slam Firing of Yates as Nixon-style 'Massacre'

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Jan 31, 2017 8:25 AM
Dems Slam Firing of Yates as Nixon-style 'Massacre'

Democrats didn’t waste any time slamming President Trump’s decision to fire acting Attorney General Sally Yates Monday night for not carrying out his executive order on refugees and immigration. Some even compared Trump’s letting go of an Obama appointee to Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre,” when, under investigation for his role in Watergate, he ordered the firing of the special prosecutor in charge of the case. In protest, however, Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than carrying out the order.

“President Trump has commenced a course of conduct that is Nixonian in its design and execution and threatens the long-vaunted independence of the Justice Department," said Rep. John Conyers (Mich.), senior Democratic on the House Judiciary Committee. "If dedicated government officials deem his directives to be unlawful and unconstitutional, he will simply fire them as if government is a reality show."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also called the firing a “massacre.”

“We've had a number, a large number of eloquent speeches about the president's executive order. And while they were going on, of course, we had a 'Monday Night Massacre,' he said on the Senate floor Monday night. “Sally Yates, a person of great integrity, who follows the law, was fired by the president. She was fired because she would not enact, pursue the executive order on the belief that it was illegal, perhaps unconstitutional. It was a profile in courage. It was a brave act. And a right act. And I hope the president and his people who are in the White House learn something from this.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, said the president’s move sets a “dangerous” precedent.

“President Trump has now put his Cabinet on notice: if you adhere to your oath of office to defend the Constitution, you risk your job," he said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also slammed Trump for acting recklessly “to get the answer he wants.” While Rep. Steny Hoyer said the president’s firing of Yates is “an alarming step for an administration already raising serious questions about its competence to govern.”

Monday night, Schumer and Pelosi led a protest against President Trump, who took to Twitter Tuesday morning to note that their microphone didn’t work, “just like the Dem party!”