Former acting attorney general Sally Yates appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on crime and terrorism on Monday. She was there to talk about Michael Flynn and Russia and whatever, but then Ted Cruz started in on her and this incredibly delicious moment happened.
Cruz wanted to talk about Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, which Yates was famously fired for refusing to defend in her role as acting attorney general.
After citing a passage from the Immigration and Naturalization Act regarding the president’s legal authority to limit immigration into the U.S., Cruz asked Yates whether she would “agree that that is broad statutory authorization.”
“I would,” Yates replied, before calmly slicing Cruz’s argument to shreds.
“I am familiar with that, and I’m also familiar with an additional provision of the INA that says, ‘No person shall receive preference or be discriminated against in issuance of a visa because of race, nationality, or place of birth,” Yates continued.
“I believe [that passage] was promulgated after the statue you just quoted,” she added. But then she landed her body blow. “My concern here is not an INA concern here, it rather was a constitutional concern.” Cruz was left spluttering.