Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates implored the public to embrace American core values of freedom and justice or run the risk of letting an unnamed force at hand potentially ruin what makes America unique. She also called on Washington and the public to remember the lessons of Watergate and honor the rule of law.
"Over the course of our nation’s history, we have faced inflection points — times when we had to decide who we are as a country and what we stand for. Now is such a time. Beyond policy disagreements and partisan gamesmanship, there is something much more fundamental hanging in the balance. Will we remain faithful to our country’s core values?" Yates wrote in an op-ed Tuesday.
Yates, who President Trump fired at the beginning of the year after she said the Justice Department opposed his administration's travel ban executive order, warned of people who believe they are above the rule of law. She did not name Trump in the piece.
"This concept of equal protection recognizes that our country’s strength comes from honoring, not weaponizing, the diversity that springs from being a nation of Native Americans and immigrants of different races, religions and nationalities," Yates said.
Yates also pointed to the handling of Watergate as an example of how an administration surrendered to the rule of law when it was at fault, a hint that she is unhappy with the Trump administration's handling of multiple probes into Russia.
"This wall of separation is what ensures the public can have confidence that the criminal process is not being used as a sword to go after one’s political enemies or as a shield to protect those in power. It’s what separates us from an autocracy," she wrote.
Finally, Yates warned against political arguments that are steeped in "emotion and fear through polarizing rhetoric and fabrications."
She added that although the public cannot control what lawmakers preach, they can hold elected officials accountable for their words.
"So stand up. Speak out. Our country needs all of us to raise our collective voices in support of our democratic ideals and institutions. That is what we stand for. That is who we are. And with a shared commitment to our founding principles, that is who we will remain," she finished.