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WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (MAY 8, 2017) (UNRESTRICTED POOL) (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN SENATOR AND FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TED CRUZ SAYING: "And if an attorney general disagrees with a policy decision of the president, a policy decision that is lawful, does the attorney general have the authority to direct the Department of Justice to defy the president's order?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER U.S. ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL SALLY YATES REPLYING: "I don't know whether the attorney general has the authority to do that or not, but I don't think it would be a good idea. And that's not what I did in this case." (SOUNDBITE) (English) TED CRUZ IN AN EXCHANGE WITH SALLY YATES: CRUZ: "Well are you familiar with 8 USC Section 1182?" YATES: "Not off the top of my head no." CRUZ: "Well it is the binding statutory authority for the executive order that you refuse to implement and that led to your termination, so it certainly is a relevant and not a terribly obscure statute. By this express text of the statute it says -- quote -- 'Whenever the president finds that the entry of any alien or any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interest of the United States, he may by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non immigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem appropriate'. Would you agree that that is broad statutory authorization?" YATES: "I would and I am familiar with that and I'm also familiar with an additional provision of the (unintelligible) that says 'No person shall receive preference or be discriminated against in issuance of a visa because of race nationality or place of birth'." WIDE OF HEARING ROOM FLOOR (SOUNDBITE) (English) SALLY YATES IN AN EXCHANGE WITH TED CRUZ: YATES: "And in this particular instance, particularly where we were talking about a fundamental issue of religious freedom, not the interpretation of some arcane statute but religious freedom, it was appropriate for us to look at the intent behind the president's actions; and the intent is laid in his statements." CRUZ: "And finally a very brief question. 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: "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 until after it was over." MEDIUM WIDE OF CRUZ AFTER HER RESPONSE
Dateline: 2017

Yates In Exchange With Cruz Over 'Muslim' Travel Ban

Item ID: 110577011

By: Reuters

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