No. 3 Official at Department of Justice Is Stepping Down

NYT No. 3 Official at Department of Justice Is Stepping Down

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

Brand is the number three official at the Justice Department, but she is next in line to take on oversight of the special counsel investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the official now in charge, left or was sacked.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been repeatedly criticized by Trump.

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A source familiar with Brand's plans said she is going to accept a job with Walmart.

Rosenstein is the only person right now who is authorized to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation that has already brought down four former advisers to Trump, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Jeff Sessions, who sits at the top of the department, previously recused himself from the probe.

'The men and women of the Department of Justice impress me every day, ' Brand said, also in the statement. That House Intelligence Committee memo contained serious allegations that Rosenstein, the FBI, and other authorities displayed damaging bias against President Trump that has been the impetus behind the Russian investigation. At that event, Mr. Sessions thanked her for her "strong leadership as our third in command at the department".

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Firing Rosenstein would be a colossal move by Trump. She will always remain a part of the Department of Justice family.

A friend close to Brand told CNN she wasn't looking to leave and said she was offered the type of job you "don't turn down" at a fortune 500 company.

Before her confirmation in May, she served for five years on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an appointee of President Obama.

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Mr. Trump in recent weeks has escalated his criticism of the department for its handling of the inquiry and suggested that top law enforcement officials should face consequences for conduct he called "a disgrace".

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