Third-ranking US Justice Department official resigns amid turmoil

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

The third-highest ranking official at the Department of Justice - who would oversee the federal Russian Federation investigation if President Donald Trump were to fire deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein - is planning to resign, the New York Times reported Friday.

She will reportedly be leaving after serving nine months at the department for a general counsel job in the private sector.

She served under Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is now overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Both Rosenstein and Sessions have become the subjects of Trump's ire in connection with the probe. A source said she was going to work as an executive at retailer Walmart.

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Brand, a Supreme Court Clerk under Justice Anthony Kennedy, eminent conservative litigator, George Mason University law professor, and political appointee under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was confirmed to her post in the Trump administration in May. Her departure was first reported by the New York Times.

"Thank you for your strong leadership here at the department", Sessions said. Reports that Mr. Trump had tried to fire Mr. Mueller and had considered firing Mr. Rosenstein raised questions of who would replace Mr. Rosenstein. She will always remain a part of the Department of Justice family. She received a job offer she could not turn down, according to NBC. She had been appointed to serve in the past three presidential administrations.

In her current capacity, she oversaw a number of politically challenging areas of the department, including the civil rights, antitrust and civil divisions. Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI who received some of the fiercest of Trump's attacks, was reportedly pushed out of the bureau last week. 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.

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