Justice department's no 3 official to take Walmart's top legal job

Rachel Brand, The Third-Ranking Justice Department Official, Is Stepping Down

Rachel Brand, No. 3 official at DOJ, is stepping down

Rachel Brand, the third-highest ranking official at the Justice Department and the first woman to serve as associate attorney general, plans to step down, according to people familiar with her decision.

The Justice Department has yet to comment on her resignation, or who could take her place.

Associate Attorney General Brand, who stepped into her position in May, will be resigning just nine months into her job, as the country's largest law enforcement agency was on the receiving end of a President Donald Trump attack, reports said. That left Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein overseeing Mueller's investigation, and Trump and GOP allies have attacked Rosenstein at times. "I've seen firsthand his commitment to the rule of law and to keeping the American people safe".

Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand is planning to step down from her position. Mr. Trump, who has called the investigation a witch hunt, has considered firing Mr. Rosenstein.

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Sessions also praised her work, calling her a "lawyer's lawyer". Vladeck analyzed how "Brand's departure raises questions about who will succeed her and what her departure (and her replacement's selection) might portend for the future of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election".

After just nine months on the job, Brand had become more and more uneasy with Trump's escalating attacks on the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which she and other law enforcement professionals feared was beginning to undermine the rule of law, according to sources familiar with her thinking.

Trump's broadsides have strained morale at the institution, which has always been praised for its independence from the White House. "The president can not directly interfere with the special counsel's investigation without going through - or getting rid of - Rosenstein". With her gone, the next person in line is Solicitor General Noel Francisco. The attacks have escalated in recent weeks as Republicans in Congress have criticized the handling by the Justice Department, FBI and the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court of warrants for surveillance of a Trump campaign advisor, Carter Page, who had ties to Russian Federation.

Her office oversees the Antitrust Division, the Civil Division, the Environment and Natural Resources Division, the Tax Division, the Office of Justice Programs, the Community Oriented Policing Services, the Community Relations Service, the Office of Dispute Resolution, the Office of Violence Against Women, the Office of Information and Privacy, the Executive Office for United States Trustees and the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.

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She had recently pushed Congress to renew a foreign intelligence surveillance program that gives the USA government authority to spy on foreigners located outside the country.

Brand will oversee Walmart's legal department, in addition to ethics, compliance, and global investigations. And she had been vocal about the department's efforts to support students who say their free speech rights are being violated on college campuses.

'She felt this was an opportunity she couldn't turn down, ' Gorelick told the Associated Press. She had previously served as an associate attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and as an associate professor at George Mason University.

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