Sally Yates: Trump's demand for FBI investigation is ‘a step beyond dangerous’
© Greg Nash

Former acting Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesSally Yates: I never thought that I'd be saying, 'Yeah, go Liz Cheney' ABC lands first one-on-one TV interview with Garland since confirmation Appointing a credible, non-partisan Jan. 6 commission should not be difficult MORE said in a new interview that President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE has taken his “assault on the rule of law to a new level” by calling for the Department of Justice to investigate whether it or the FBI planted an informant in his presidential campaign for political reasons. 

"This has really taken the assault on the rule of law to a new level," Yates, whom Trump fired last year after she refused to defend his travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries, said during an appearance on CNN’s "The Axe Files" that's scheduled to air Saturday.

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"Really from the beginning of his presidency, President Trump has not observed the time-honored norm that's been in place at least since Watergate that there should be a real division between the Department of Justice and the White House," Yates continued. 

The president took to Twitter on Sunday to tell the Justice Department to investigate whether the FBI surveilled his campaign for "inappropriate purposes.”  

Yates called Trump’s inquiry “truly unprecedented,” adding that the move is a step “beyond a dangerous point because it's not just directing a criminal investigation or to stop one but anyone, it directly relates to his campaign.”

Though Yates declined to comment specifically on alleged surveillance abuses in Trump's 2016 presidential campaign or on the investigation, she said she was confident the investigation would uncover the truth. 

"I was with DOJ for 27 years, and I can tell you that the men and women of the Department of Justice take the responsibility very seriously," Yates said. "Investigations there are done based on the facts and the law and not based on politics. And I'm confident that that will be the result of this investigation as well." 

Yates has spoken out against the president's attacks on the Justice Department in the past. 

Earlier this month, Yates said Trump was "tearing down the legitimacy” of the agency, warning that his attacks on top officials like Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE are “not normal,” but are becoming normalized.