Sally Yates: Trump is 'tearing down the legitimacy' of Justice Department
© Greg Nash

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesSally Yates: Putin summit shows where Trump's loyalties lie Buck Wild: 'Is President Trump paranoid or is the Deep State out to get him?' Supreme Court hands Trump predictable win on travel ban MORE said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Chicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Ex-Trump aide: Surveillance warrants are 'complete ignorance' and 'insanity' MORE’s attacks on the Department of Justice are “tearing down the legitimacy” of the agency.

Yates, whom Trump fired last year after she refused to defend his travel ban on refugees from several Muslim-majority countries, warned that the president’s attacks on top Justice Department officials like Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsData confirm that marijuana decriminalization is long overdue The FIRST STEP Act sets up a dangerous future The Sessions DOJ is working to end the great asylum hustle MORE and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE are “not normal,” but are becoming normalized.

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“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 Trump has been targeting the agency 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.”

Trump, whose targets at the Justice Department include former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyThere was nothing remotely treasonous in Trump's performance with Putin Opinion: One FBI text message in Russia probe that should alarm every American Clapper: Intel officials showed Trump evidence of Putin's role in election meddling MORE and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeBuck Wild: 'Is President Trump paranoid or is the Deep State out to get him?' Why does Congress keep playing political games on FBI oversight? FBI confidence in leaders sank after Comey was fired: report MORE, 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 probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including possible collusion between the president's campaign and Moscow, as a "witch hunt" and has called for it to end.