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

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesTime for sunshine on Trump-Russia investigation New Yorker disinvites Bannon from festival following backlash White House confirms Brennan's security clearance has been revoked MORE said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency 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 SessionsTrump attack on Sessions may point to his departure Hillicon Valley: Trump's exclusive interview with Hill.TV | Trump, intel officials clash over Russia docs | EU investigating Amazon | Military gets new cyber authority | Flynn sentencing sparks new questions about Mueller probe Sessions in Chicago: If you want more shootings, listen to ACLU, Antifa, Black Lives Matter 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 ComeyHillicon Valley: Trump's exclusive interview with Hill.TV | Trump, intel officials clash over Russia docs | EU investigating Amazon | Military gets new cyber authority | Flynn sentencing sparks new questions about Mueller probe Comey: Mueller may be in 'fourth quarter' of Russia probe READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV MORE and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeCBS in talks for miniseries based on Comey book EXCLUSIVE: Trump says exposing ‘corrupt’ FBI probe could be ‘crowning achievement’ of presidency Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lands book deal 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.