Emerging on the political scene as a staunch opponent of President Trump, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates could enter Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial race if the Democrats in her home state have their way. Although Yates is becoming a poster girl for the the Democratic “resistance,” she has not given any public indication that she’s interested in running for office.
“Sally Yates’s calm and strong demeanor showed me she could be a great governor of Georgia,”said Tharon Johnson, a Georgia Democratic strategist and campaign aide to former President Barack Obama. “Her bold resistance, and how she stood up to a president who ordered her to do something unlawful and unconstitutional, has catapulted her profile.” She added, “She will have to give Georgians a really good reason why she’s not considering running for a constitutional office in 2018.”
Spending nearly 30-years at the Justice Department, Yates was an unknown name when she took over as acting attorney general ahead of then-Sen. Jeff Sessions’s (R-Ala.) confirmation. Trump fired Yates when she refused to defend the president’s original temporary travel ban in court.
Just last week, reports emerged that Yates had warned the administration that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had lied to Vice President Pence and other White House officials about the nature of his conversations with the Russian ambassador and could have opened himself up to blackmail from the Russians.
A prominent Democrat, Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed, said last month that he is “very hopeful that she will give the race very strong consideration.”
Yates’s testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday further cemented her reputation as a political upstart after explaining her decision to go against Trump’s executive orders on immigration. “I made a determination that I believed it was unlawful and inconsistent with the principles of the Department of Justice, and I said no. That’s what I promised you I would do, and that’s what I did,” Yates said.
“It strengthens her candidacy — the fact that she’s dealing with issues at a very high level, the fact that she’s gone toe-to-toe with some of the leading folks on the national stage. She can bring that gravitas to the local stage,” said one Georgia Democrat.
Outside the White House on Wednesday protesters chanted her name and called her a “hero” while liberal writers and pundits celebrated her Senate testimony.
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