"I'm so proud," Andrew Weissman, then a senior prosecutor in the criminal division of the Department of Justice, wrote to then-Attorney General Yates after the move. "And with amazement, thank you very much, my deepest respects."
Previously, Yates had sent a letter to the lawyers of the Department of Justice instructing them not to present legal arguments in defense of the executive order on immigration and refugees. She was fired shortly after by Trump.
Several other employees of the Department of Justice, including an official of the national security division and three lawyers at the time, also applauded Yates in emails sent to him after the decision. A veteran lawyer from the department went on to criticize the Trump administration for "such contempt for democratic values and the rule of law."
The nearly 400-page stretch of documents sent to and from Yates accounts for much of its official email content in the first 10 days of the Trump administration – the brief period he spent as interim attorney general, before being Farewell and while Trump is nominated, Jeff Sessions, in front of the confirmation of the Senate.
In an e-mail sent to Yates, the chief of staff of former FBI director James Comey wrote to the Justice Department officials about a meeting that Trump had requested later that day with the agencies that had participated in security for the inaugural activities.
"The director has been asked to represent the FBI and he will be attending along with Paul Abbate," wrote the chief of staff, James Rybicki. Abbate is the deputy director in charge of the Field Office of the FBI in Washington.
The description in the document indicates that the DOJ had on November 30, 2016, requested information from Flynn and his private-sector intelligence firm after press reports linked him to officials acting on behalf of the government of Turkey. A lawyer for Flynn responded to DOJ on January 11, 2017, informing that Flynn and his firm "are likely to register under (the Foreign Agent Registration Act), which could occur imminently and would be public," according to the document.
In March, weeks after Flynn resigned for lying to the vice president about his talks with the Russian ambassador, the White House acknowledged that he was aware of Flynn's unregistered foreign lobbying during the transition period.
Yates, now a distinguished lecturer at the Georgetown University law school, has criticized the administration since his dismissal.
It was brief. "I inform you that the president has removed him from the office of the Assistant Attorney General of the United States," says the "deportation notice" sent by John DeStefano, assistant to the president and director of the presidential staff, at 10:16 p.m. January 30th.