No. 3 Justice Department official leaving for Walmart

Rachel Brand, the Justice Department's third-ranking official, is stepping down to take a job in the private sector.

The Justice Department announced her departure in a statement Friday night and Attorney General Jeff Sessions called Brand "a lawyer's lawyer."

"I know the entire Department of Justice will miss her, but we join together in congratulating her on this new opportunity in the private sector," Sessions said.

People in Brand's position, associate attorney general, come and go with little notice. But her planned departure attracted immediate attention, because she is next in line to take over supervision of Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were to quit or be fired.

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Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand
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Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand
WASHINGTON, DC - During a confirmation hearing Rod Rosenstein nominated for Deputy Attorney General and Rachel Brand nominated for Associate Attorney General appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC Tuesday March 7, 2017. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 02: Deputy U.S. Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein,(L), and Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, participate in a summit to discuss efforts to combat human trafficking, at the Justice Department, on February 2, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
United States Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand speaks at a summit about combating human trafficking at the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
United States Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand greets Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a summit about combating human trafficking at the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Rod Rosenstein, nominee to be Deputy Attorney General, and Rachel Brand, nominee for Associate Attorney General, are sworn before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Rachel Brand, nominee to be Associate Attorney General, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions (L), Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, look on at a summit about combating human trafficking at the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions (L), Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, look on at a summit about combating human trafficking at the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
UNITED STATES - MARCH 7: Rod Rosenstein, left, nominee for deputy attorney general, and Rachel Brand, nominee for associate attorney general, attend their Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building, March 7, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Rachel Brand, associate attorney general nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The confirmation hearing for Rosenstein began with Republicans and Democrats squaring off over who should lead probes into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential contacts between Moscow and Trumps campaign team. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Walmart said in a statement that Brand would serve as executive vice president, global governance and corporate secretary and that she will report to President and CEO Doug McMillon.

"We are fortunate to have a leader of Rachel Brand's stature join the company," McMillon said. "Her strong character, capabilities and experience will enable her to contribute broadly as we shape the future of Walmart and strive to serve our customers even more effectively."

A close friend of Brand said, "She's leaving, because she has the kind of job offer you don't turn down."

Brand plans to leave the government "in the next few weeks," which means she'll be stepping down after just shy of nine months on the job.

This is her second time in the Justice Department. From 2003 to 2007, she served in top policy positions during the George W. Bush administration.

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Rod Rosenstein through the years
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Rod Rosenstein through the years
Rod Rosenstein, nominee to be Deputy Attorney General, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 10: U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein speaks during a news conference in Washington D.C. Tuesday, October 10, 2006. Rosenstein and Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty announced the formation of a National Procurement Fraud Task Force, an effort aimed at the detection, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with increased contracting activity for national security programs. (Photo by Carol T. Powers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 10: Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty, center, speaks during a news conference with Alice Fisher, head of the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, left, and U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, during a news conference in Washington D.C. Tuesday, October 10, 2006. McNulty announced the formation of a National Procurement Fraud Task Force, an effort aimed at the detection, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with increased contracting activity for national security programs. (Photo by Carol T. Powers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
SLUG: me/hornsby DATE: August 22, 2006 CREDIT: Ricky Carioti / TWP. United States Federal Courthouse in Greenbelt, Md. Federal prosecutors announce the indictment of former Prince George's County school superintendent Andre Hornsby. United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, center, flanked by Francis Turner, left, of the United States Department of the Treasury and Assistant United States Attorney Michael Pauze announce the 16-count indictment of former Prince George's County Schools Superintendent Andre Hornsby during a press conference at federal court in Greenbelt on Tuesday. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein talks about the sentencing of Thomas Bromwell Sr. and Mary Patricia Bromwell following their appearance in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, Friday, November 16, 2007. (Photo by Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images)
GREENBELT, MD JUNE 30:United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein talked with reporters after the Guilty plea of Prince Georges County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson the U.S. District Court on June 30, 2011 in Greenbelt, MD. To Rosenstein's left is Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeannine A. Hammett of the Internal Revenue Service and to his right is Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Photo by Mark Gail/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 24: Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, on Friday, October 24, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rosenstein said Carl Lackl was scheduled to be a witness to the Larry Haynes murder but was killed when Patrick Byers plotted his murder from his jail cell. (Photo by Michel du Cille/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The confirmation hearing for Rosenstein began with Republicans and Democrats squaring off over who should lead probes into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential contacts between Moscow and Trumps campaign team. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, swears in to a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The confirmation hearing for Rosenstein began with Republicans and Democrats squaring off over who should lead probes into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential contacts between Moscow and Trumps campaign team. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, sits during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The confirmation hearing for Rosenstein began with Republicans and Democrats squaring off over who should lead probes into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential contacts between Moscow and Trumps campaign team. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: Deputy U.S. Attorney General nominee Rod Rosenstein arrives before the Senate Judiciary Committee for testimony March 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. During the hearing, Democratic senators pressed Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor in an ongoing federal inquiry into Russian influence in the U.S. presidential election. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Rod Rosenstein, nominee to be Deputy Attorney General, arrives to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
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As associate attorney general, she supervised the Department's civil components, including civil rights, antitrust, and environment and natural resources. The job isn't for everyone, and some friends have wondered whether she found it a good fit.

Last week, at a Justice Department event on human trafficking, Sessions praised her and Rosenstein, saying, "They both represent the kind of quality and leadership that we want in the department."

While word of her planned departure raised questions about whether a government shake up was in the works, administration officials said they knew of no other plans by senior officials to leave.

President Donald Trump's criticism of Sessions and Rosenstein specifically and the Justice Department the FBI more generally have increased the pressure on senior officials at both places.

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