No. 3 Official at the Justice Department Is Stepping Down
By Katie Benner
Feb. 9, 2018
WASHINGTON — Rachel L. Brand, the No. 3 official at the Justice Department,
plans to step down after nine months on the job as the country’s top law
enforcement agency has been under attack by President Trump, according to two
people briefed on her decision.
Ms. Brand’s profile had risen in part because she is next in the line of
succession behind the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who is
overseeing the special counsel’s inquiry into Russian influence in the 2016
election. Mr. Trump, who has called the investigation a witch hunt, has
considered firing Mr. Rosenstein.
Such a move could have put her in charge of the special counsel and, by
extension, left her in the cross hairs of the president.
Ms. Brand, who became the associate attorney general in May 2017, is leaving
for a job as general counsel in the private sector. She has held politically
appointed positions at the Justice Department over the past three presidential
In her current job, she reports directly to Mr. Rosenstein and Jeff Sessions,
the attorney general, who has recused himself from the Russia investigation.
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