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

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesLawmakers call for investigation into alleged harassment, abuse in women's soccer Sally Yates to investigate sexual abuse in women's soccer league Sally Yates: I never thought that I'd be saying, 'Yeah, go Liz Cheney' MORE said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled 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 criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability 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.

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 ComeyTrump defends indicted GOP congressman Andrew McCabe's settlement with the Department of Justice is a signal to John Durham Giuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign MORE and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeAndrew McCabe's settlement with the Department of Justice is a signal to John Durham Trump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle 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.