(CNSNews.com) -- Documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit show that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's deputy, Andrew Weissmann, effusively praised then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce President Donald Trump's Middle East travel ban, writing in an email to Yates, "I am so proud. And in awe."
This revelation comes on the heels of news that FBI counterintelligence investigator Peter Strzok was removed from Mueller's prosecutorial team this summer because of anti-Trump text messages he had sent to a colleague.
Back in January, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who had been appointed by President Barack Obama, claimed that the Trump administration's travel restrictions from certain Middle Eastern countries was not defensible and she refused to enforce it. She was subsequently fired by President Trump on Jan. 30, 2017.
That evening, Andrew Weissmann sent an email to Yates. It reads, "Subject FW: I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects, Andrew Weissmann."
Weissmann at the time was chief of the Justice Department's criminal fraud division. He was appointed to work for Special Counsel Robert Mueller in June 2017. Mueller is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.
Judicial Watch obtained the Weissmann email, and many others, through a FOIA lawsuit it filed in May after the Justice Department did not respond to a FOIA request "seeking Yates' emails from her government account for the time period she served as Acting Attorney General for President Trump," said the watchdog group in a Dec. 5 statement.
“This is an astonishing and disturbing find. Andrew Weisman, a key prosecutor on Robert Mueller’s team, praised Obama DOJ holdover Sally Yates after she lawlessly thwarted President Trump,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“How much more evidence do we need that the Mueller operation has been irredeemably compromised by anti-Trump partisans?" siad Fitton. "Shut it down.”
Some of the other emails obtained by Judicial Watch through its FOIA lawsuit, in relation to Sally Yates's defiance of the White House, include the following:
-- Thomas Delahanty, then the United States Attorney for Maine wrote: “You are my hero.”
-- Liz Aloi, a career service employee and Chief of the Justice Department’s Special Financial Investigations Unit told Yates she was “Inspirational and heroic.”
-- Emily Gray Rice, then the U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire and an Obama appointee said: “AAG Yates, thank you, as always, for making us proud. It is truly an honor to work for you.”
-- Obama appointee Barbara McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan told Yates, “Thank you for your courage and leadership. This is wonderful news.”
-- DOJ Civil Division Appellate Attorney Jeffrey Clair wrote: “Thank you AG Yates. I’ve been in civil/appellate for 30 years and have never seen an administration with such contempt for democratic values and the rule of law. The President’s order is an unconstitutional embarrassment and I applaud you for taking a principled stand against defending it.”
On Monday, Dec. 4, the U.S. Supreme Court voted, 7-2, to allow the Traump administration to enforce its Middle East travel restriction policy until further notice.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the ruling a "substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people."
“We are pleased to have defended this order and heartened that a clear majority on the Supreme Court has allowed the president’s lawful proclamation protecting our country’s national security to go into full effect," said Sessions.