Rachel Brand, No 3 justice department official, reportedly planning to resign

Laura Christensen
February 10, 2018

CBN News has confirmed with multiple sources inside the Department of Justice that Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, the number three person in charge of the DOJ is leaving. Her departure was first reported by the New York Times.

A friend close to Brand told CNN she wasn't looking to leave and said she was offered the type of job you "don't turn down" at a fortune 500 company. But the paper noted that if Trump fired Rosenstein, it would place Brand in Trump's crosshairs as she took on oversight of the investigation.

Brand, who became Associate Attorney General in May, has kept a relatively low profile and, unlike other top officials, has not been personally targeted by Trump.

Brand is leaving the Justice Department for a job as general counsel in the private sector, the people familiar with the decision said.

"I think it's a disgrace what's happening in our country", Trump said last week when he was asked about the release of a memo from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee claiming abuses in the Russian Federation investigation. Speaking of FISA warrants - following the release of a memo that alleged the Federal Bureau of Investigation overstepped its bounds in using surveillance methods and that Rosenstein agreed to a FISA application to surveil Trump adviser Carter Page, Trump has implied he might fire Rosenstein.

"Rachel has shown real leadership over many important divisions at the department", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Friday night in which he congratulated Brand.

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Rosenstein oversees Mueller's investigation because Sessions recused himself from the matter previous year.

Trump also has criticised Sessions for recusing himself.

Trump's broadsides have strained morale at the institution, which has always been praised for its independence from the White House.

In an op-ed in The Washington Post past year, Ms. Brand argued that the law "has been valuable and effective in protecting the nation's security" and that law enforcement officers would be "at risk" without it. Congress voted to extend that law, Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, last month. The measure passed, and Trump signed it into law in January.

The daughter and granddaughter of Dutch dairy farmers in Iowa, Brand has been praised for her deep knowledge of the Justice Department. Walmart sought Brand to be head of global corporate governance at the retail giant, a position Gorelick said has legal and policy responsibilities that will cater to her strengths.

Brand oversees the Justice Department's civil, antitrust, tax and environmental and natural resources divisions.

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