Published: Sat, February 10, 2018

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

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

The No 3 official at the U.S. justice department, Rachel Brand, is planning to resign, it was reported on Friday. As one of five Senate-confirmed members of the panel, she provided advice and oversight for USA counter-terrorism agencies.

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.

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.

Her office oversees the Antitrust Division, the Civil Division, the Environment and Natural Resources Division, the Tax Division, the Office of Justice Programs, the Community Oriented Policing Services, the Community Relations Service, the Office of Dispute Resolution, the Office of Violence Against Women, the Office of Information and Privacy, the Executive Office for United States Trustees and the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.

Trump has reportedly considered firing both Mueller and Rosenstein at times. Her departure was first reported by the New York Times.

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

Trump also has criticized Sessions for recusing himself.

The attacks have escalated in recent weeks as Republicans in Congress have criticized the handling by the Justice Department, FBI and the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court of warrants for surveillance of a Trump campaign advisor, Carter Page, who had ties to Russian Federation.

Brand has kept a very low profile at the department, but in December she wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post defending the renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which permits the National Security Agency to collect foreign intelligence on US soil without individualized warrants.

Brand was in position to inherit oversight of the Mueller probe if the department's number two, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, is forced out.

As the No. 3 Justice official, Brand would have been be a likely candidate for Rosenstein's job, if Trump sought his dismissal for his handling of the Russian Federation inquiry. In addition to her third in command position she's now vacating, Rachel worked in the Office of Legal policy at the DOJ under the second Bush administration and then served on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board under the Obama administration.

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