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

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

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

Brand attracted interest because of her potential to assume a key role in the Trump-Russia investigation. She's the person most likely to take over should Donald Trump fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, but she'd given no indication that she'd be any more willing to do Trump's bidding and fire Robert Mueller should Trump fire Rosenstein.

But, amid Trump's recent attacks against the Justice Department, two people familiar with the matter told the New York Times Friday that Brand plans to resign.

Rachel Brand, the associate attorney general in the Department of Justice, is stepping down from her position, Fox News has confirmed.

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The reason for her departure is unclear, and her exit caught senior Justice Department officials by surprise. She will reportedly be leaving after serving nine months at the department for a general counsel job in the private sector.

In the position, she oversaw the department's efforts on civil and civil rights matters as well as the antitrust, tax and environment and natural resources divisions.

News of her departure comes a week after Trump approved the release of a previously classified memo written by Republican lawmakers that portrayed the Russian Federation investigation, initially handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and now headed by Mueller, as a product of political bias against Trump at the Justice Department and FBI.

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Neither Brand nor a justice department spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.

A 1998 graduate of Harvard Law School, Brand worked in the White House Counsel's office under Republican former President George W. Bush, and helped draft his executive order creating the Department of Homeland Security.

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