DOJ official Brand quits partly over fear she might be asked to oversee Russia probe

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department's No.3 attorney had been unhappy with her job for months before the department announced her departure on Friday, according to multiple sources close to Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.

Brand grew frustrated by vacancies at the department and fear she would be asked to oversee the Russia investigation, the sources said.

She will be leaving the Justice Department in the coming weeks to take a position with Walmart as the company's executive vice president of global governance and corporate secretary, a job change that had been in the works for some time, the sources said.

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Notable people who have been fired or resigned from Trump's administration
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Notable people who have been fired or resigned from Trump's administration

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks reportedly announced her resignation after testifying about her job and being required to tell "white lies."

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned from his position on July 5, 2018 after a number of ethics scandals.

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Rob Porter resigned as White House staff secretary in February 2018 amid abuse allegations made by his ex-wives.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired by President Trump in March 2018.

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H.R. McMaster was replaced by John Bolton as national security advisor in March 2018.

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White House aide Kelly Sadler left her position in June 2018 after reportedly mocking Sen. John McCain.

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Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn announced his resignation in March 2018 after becoming a key architect of the 2017 tax overhaul 

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Sally Yates was fired from her post as acting attorney general when she refused to enforce President Trump's travel ban. 

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Michael Flynn resigned as national security adviser in February after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his interactions with Russian officials. 

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President Trump announced David Shulkin was out as secretary of veterans affairs by sending a tweet announcing he had nominated his personal physican, Ronny Jackson, to replace him on March 28, 2018.

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Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in early May.

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Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned in July.

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Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus resigned in July.

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Former advisor to President Donald Trump Steve Bannon resigned in August.

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Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director was fired in July after just 10 days on the job. 

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Trump fired Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh amid White House leaks in April.

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Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigned in late September. 

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White House aide Omarosa Manigault insists she resigned and was not fired from her role in December 2017.

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President Trump fired U.S. Attorney in Manhattan Preet Bharara in March.

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Mike Dubke resigned as White House communications director in late May.

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Walter Shaub, former Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics in Washington, DC resigned in July.

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White House deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka resigned in August 2017. 

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Rick Dearborn, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs, left the White House in December 2017.

(REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

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As far back as last fall, Brand had expressed to friends that she felt overwhelmed and unsupported in her job, especially as many key positions under her jurisdiction had still not been filled with permanent, Senate-confirmed officials.

Four of the 13 divisions overseen by the associate attorney general remain unfilled, including the civil rights division and the civil division, over one year into the Trump administration.

While Brand has largely stayed out of the spotlight, public criticism of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by President Donald Trump worried Brand that Rosenstein's job could be endanger.

Should Rosenstein be fired, Brand would be next in line to oversee Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, thrusting her into a political spotlight that Brand told friends she did not want to enter.

Brand has had a long legal career that has spanned several administrations, including under Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican George W. Bush.

In announcing her departure, Attorney General Jeff Sessions described Brand as "a lawyer's lawyer," noting that she graduated from Harvard Law School and clerked at the Supreme Court.

In the same statement, Brand said, "I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish over my time here."

The Justice Department did not have a comment beyond Brand's statement.

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