Justice head tells staff not to defend Trump refugee order

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File Photo: U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates speaks during a formal investiture ceremony for Attorney General Loretta Lynch June 17, 2015 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, DC. Lynch was officially sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States on April 27, 2015. She is the first African-American woman to serve in the position. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a Democratic appointee, says she’s directed Justice Department attorneys not to defend President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees.

Yates said in a memo Monday that she is not convinced that Trump’s order is lawful, or that its defense is consistent with the department’s obligation to “always seek justice and stand for what is right.”

Yates was appointed deputy attorney general by President Barack Obama. She became acting attorney general once Loretta Lynch left the position.

Her directive will be in place until she leaves the department, which will happen once the Senate confirms Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general.

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