Rachel Brand, the associate attorney general and No. 3 official at the Justice Department, will be leaving her post it was learned today. Brand had been in that role for just nine months.
Brand had become the subject of much speculation in recent weeks as rumors over whether President Trump would fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein grew. A vacating of Rosenstein’s post would have made Brand the supervisor in charge of the Mueller investigation into Russian meddling, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the matter.
According to people familiar with the decision Brand is leaving the DOJ to become the global governance director at Walmart, the company’s top legal position. Brand had held politically appointed positions in each of the past three presidential administrations.
Speculation about Rosenstein’s future at the Justice Department rose after the release of a controversial memo by Republican congressmen last week alleged that the FBI had used the infamous Steele Dossier to obtain FISA warrants to spy on former members of the Trump campaign. As the Justice Department’s deputy director, it would have been Rosenstein’s responsibility to sign off on any such warrants.