Watch Sally Yates Shut Down Ted Cruz

The former acting attorney general testified that the Department of Justice was not consulted on Trump’s Muslim ban executive order.

May 08, 2017
Watch Sally Yates Shut Down Ted Cruz Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, May 8, 2017.   Jim Watson / Getty Images

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified before a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, telling the committee that, in the first days of the Trump administration, she had advised the White House that national security adviser Michael T. Flynn was susceptible to blackmail. She also fielded questions from Senator Ted Cruz, who questioned her decision to go against Trump's proposed Muslim ban.


When Cruz brought up the Office of Legal Counsel's determination that the order was legal, Yates said that their ruling ignored the updated statute and went against the Constitution. Yates was fired as acting attorney general in January, after refusing to defend Trump's executive order in court.

Cruz then asked, “In the over 200 years of the Department of Justice history, are you aware of any instance in which the Department of Justice has formally approved the legality of a policy and three days later the attorney general has directed the department not to follow that policy and to defy that policy?”

Yates, countered, "I’m not, but I’m also not aware of a situation where the Office of Legal Counsel was advised not to tell the attorney general about it until after it was over.”

See the clip from Sally Yates's testimony below.

Watch Sally Yates Shut Down Ted Cruz