Rachel Brand, the number 3 ranking official at the Depart of Justice has announced plans to step down.
Brand reports to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. She has found herself caught between a rock and a hard place as the President lobs bombs at his Justice Department, amid the ongoing Russia investigation.
In the last couple of weeks, with the release of the Nunes Memo and repeated accusations from the GOP meant to undermine the credibility of the Justice Department and the FBI in the Russia investigation, rumors had been circulating that the President might move to fire Rod Rosenstein. Questions then arose about who would replace him. Brand is the next highest ranking official. This announcement answers the question of whether or not she’d be next in line.
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Brand has held politically appointed positions at the Justice Department over the last three presidential administrations. She is leaving to take a position as general counsel in the private sector.
Brand was appointed to the position last May by President Trump. She has overseen programs at the DOJ including the the one responsible for authorizing warrantless surveillance by the National Security Agency. Congress just voted to re-up the law extending that program in the last few weeks.
Brand is the latest in a string of career justice officials to step down during the Trump Administration as the President’s war on the judicial branch intensifies.