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US Justice Department's top official stepping down

US Justice Department's top official stepping down

The Justice Department on Friday announced that Brand will leave the Justice Department in the next few weeks, and Walmart announced that she will take an executive job at the corporation. The New York Times first reported the news prior to the official announcement.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said in a statement, "Rachel Brand is an incredibly talented lawyer and Iowa native who has served our country very well in her role as Associate Attorney General".

Since Brand was next in line to oversee the widening special investigation, she became increasingly anxious when President Trump began publicly criticizing the DOJ's second in command, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Brand was also frustrated with vacancies in the department.

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Trump has called the probe a 'witch hunt, ' fired Comey, blasted Federal Bureau of Investigation lovers who exchanged anti-Trump texts, and taunted former deputy Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe, while also occasionally going after attorney general Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein online.

About a third of the 13 divisions in Brand's purview, including the civil rights and civil divisions, remain vacant, according to NBC.

"I think it's a disgrace what's happening in our country", Trump said last week when he was asked about the release of a memo from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee claiming abuses in the Russian Federation investigation. But associates downplayed her resignation. But because officials in "acting" capacities do not count in the Justice Department order of succession, it's unclear if Panuccio would have the authority to fire Mueller. Because one of those officials is "acting", only Robert Higdon, the US attorney in North Carolina, and Erin Cox, the USA attorney in Texas, would be eligible. If Rosenstein is no longer in his role, that person would likely be tasked with overseeing the Mueller probe. As Associate Attorney General, Brand oversaw thousands of attorneys and professionals across the department's civil law divisions, including Antitrust, Tax and Environment and Natural Resources. "I've seen firsthand his commitment to the rule of law and to keeping the American people safe".

Brand, 44, has held the Senate-confirmed position since May 22.


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