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Rachel Brand is stepping down from her Justice Department role

Rachel Brand is stepping down from her Justice Department role”

The US Justice Department's third-ranking official, Rachel Brand, will resign and take a senior job at Walmart Inc, with sources familiar with her decision saying on Friday that she had grown increasingly uncomfortable with President Donald Trump's attacks on her department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to CBS News, the department says the associate attorney general will be leaving "in the coming weeks".

Rachel Brand is leaving for the top legal job at Walmart, friend and former colleague Jamie Gorelick told The Associated Press Friday. Her resignation comes at a moment of intense political scrutiny for the department, including some harsh criticism from President Trump. The memo, which was released publicly last week, said Rosenstein signed off on an application to reauthorize a surveillance warrant on ex-Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

More recently, the Washington Post reported Trump had seen a controversial memo written by House Republicans based on classified material as a vehicle he could use to fire Rosenstein. "She will always remain part of the Department of Justice family".

Brand previously worked in the administrations of both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as the head of the Justice Department's office of legal policy and as a member of an oversight board for privacy and civil liberties.

"Rachel has shown real leadership over many important divisions at the department", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Friday night in which he congratulated Brand. And he has blasted his attorney general for recusing himself in the Russian Federation investigation and turning it over to Rosenstein, who then appointed Mueller as special counsel.

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Last summer on Twitter, Trump called Sessions "beleaguered" and "very weak, and at a news conference in the Rose Garden said he was "disappointed in Sessions". Trump admitted to the New York Times past year that he would not have picked Sessions as his attorney general had he known Sessions would recuse himself.

She had recently pushed Congress to renew a foreign intelligence surveillance program that gives the USA government authority to spy on foreigners located outside the country. The law was reauthorized in January.

In her current capacity, she oversaw a number of politically challenging areas of the department, including the civil rights, antitrust and civil divisions.

A Justice Department official said that Jesse Panuccio, the Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General, will temporarily take over Brand's job until a replacement is named.



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