Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, whom President Trump fired last year after she refused to defend his travel ban on refugees from several Muslim-majority countries, said Tuesday that Trump’s attacks on top Department of Justice officials like Attorney General Jeff Sessions and special counsel Robert Mueller are “not normal” and “tearing down the legitimacy” of the DOJ.
“There is a time-honored tradition at the Department of Justice, at least since Watergate, that is nonpartisan,” Yates said, according to Yahoo News. “There is a wall between the Department of Justice and the White House when it comes to criminal investigations and prosecutions.”
She added that the president has been targeting the DOJ so frequently that “nobody’s rolling their eyes anymore.”
“It used to be a big news story that would say, ‘In an unprecedented step, Trump said this,’” Yates said. “Now it doesn’t even make it through the full 24-hour news cycle because it happens so frequently.”
The Hill added:
Trump, whose targets at the DOJ include former FBI director James Comey and former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, threatened last month to intervene at the department.
“Because of the fact that they have this witch hunt going on, with people in the Justice Department that shouldn’t be there — they have a witch hunt against the president of the United States going on,” Trump said during an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
“You look at the corruption at the top of the FBI — it’s a disgrace,” he added. “And our Justice Department, which I try and stay away from, but at some point I won’t.”
Trump has also repeatedly attacked Mueller’s investigation, calling it a “hoax,” a “witch hunt,” and “a pure hit job.”