(FILES) This file photo taken on June 28, 2016 shows Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates speaks during a press conference at the Department of Justice in Washington. (AFP / SAUL LOEB)
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An embattled Donald Trump fired his government's chief lawyer for refusing to defend his controversial immigration orders Monday, deepening a political crisis engulfing his young presidency.Yates -- a career prosecutor promoted by Barack Obama and held over by Trump pending confirmation of his own nominee, Jeff Sessions -- had refused to mount a legal defense of Trump's ban on immigration from seven Muslim nations.Trump replaced Yates with Federal prosecutor Dana Boente, as he awaits the confirmation of his nominee, Senator Sessions, by the Senate.On Sunday, attorneys general from 16 U.S. states, including California and New York, condemned Trump's directive as "unconstitutional" and vowed to fight it.The issue also risks overshadowing Trump's announcement of his pick to fill an empty chair on the Supreme Court.Democratic lawmakers have vociferously opposed Trump's immigration order and Republicans are privately seething over the way his White House has handled the issue.Even before Monday night's drama, Trump had been struggling to contain the political fallout from his immigration ban.For many in Trump's orbit, he is merely carrying out election promises.
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