Rachel L. Brand, the third-highest-ranking official
Washington, Feb. 10 (IANS): Rachel L. Brand, the third-highest-ranking official at the US Justice Department, plans to resign after nine months on the job as the country’s top law enforcement agency has been under attack by President Donald Trump, officials said.
Brand, 44, would have been in line to take over the supervision of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation if Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, the Department’s No. 2 official, was fired by Trump or recused himself from the matter, the New York Times reported on Friday.
Earlier reports said that the President might sack Rosenstein.
Brand is leaving the Justice Department to join Walmart as the Executive Vice-President for global governance, the company said.
She previously worked in the administrations of both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as the head of the Justice Department’s office of legal policy and as a member of an oversight board for privacy and civil liberties, CNN reported.
The possibility of Brand being thrust into the Russia investigation increased in recent weeks as Rosenstein came under political attack from Republicans for supporting the renewal of a surveillance warrant on a former Trump campaign adviser.
“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 Russia investigation.
“A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that,” Trump said.
He has also publicly attacked the FBI, which is a component of the Justice Department. He has blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself in the Russia investigation and turning it over to Rosenstein, who then appointed Mueller as Special Counsel.