Five Minutes with Sally Yates


Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general, joins host Andrew Zucker on this episode of ZUCKER. Yates is asked about her meetings with White House counsel Don McGahn, the rule of law, and her future career plans.

On the rule of law:

The rule of law only functions with the traditions and norms of separation between the Department of Justice and the White House. When these violations, when the breaches of this wall happen, over and over and over again, it can't help but begin to normalize that conduct a bit. Which is one of the reasons why I think it so important for people to speak out about this, to continue to remind the public and those still in our government that this is not normal conduct, that this is dangerous conduct.

On the DOJ’s reaction if a ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ were to occur:

We should all first hope that we never get to that spot. But if we did, [U.S. Deputy Attorney General] Rod [Rosenstein] and others there at the Department have been there for a long time as both career prosecutors at the Department and not just political appointees. And I would hope and expect that they're going to defend the institution of the Justice Department in the event we were to ever get to that scenario that I hope never happens.

On running for office:

Running for office is just not anything that I've really been interested in or drawn to. I believe in public service. I think that’s reflected in the fact I stayed at the Department of Justice for nearly thirty years and hope maybe someday I’ll have another opportunity for public service.