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


Brand previously served as principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy, appointed by President George W. Bush.

Rachel Brand, the Justice Department official in the pipeline to potentially assume oversight of the Mueller investigation, is expected to step down after just nine months on the job, according to a report. The official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, has been repeatedly criticized by Trump.

Rosenstein now oversees Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between President Trump's campaign and the Russian government, and Trump has flouted the possibility of firing him.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently praised Brand and his second-in-command, Rod Rosenstein, before the Devin Nunes memo was released on Friday. Neither Brand nor a Justice Department spokesperson could be immediately reached for comment.

In her current job, she reports directly to Mr. Rosenstein and Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, who has recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation.

The New York Times first reported the departure, which comes as the Justice Department has been subject to unprecedented attack by President Donald Trump.

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Last week, with Trump serving up new rebukes of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation prior to the release of a classified Republican memo alleging abuses of government surveillance of a former Trump campaign aide, Sessions singled out Brand at a Justice conference.

A political appointee, Brand had left private practice to join the Trump administration, but had worked in political positions under prior administrations.

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.

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