They’re scattering like rats from a sinking ship.
Just days after two officials in the Trump administration resigned over domestic-abuse allegations, and amid rumors that his chief of staff wants to go, Rachel Brand, No. 3 at the Department of Justice, is leaving after nine months on the job.
As associate attorney general, Brand is next in the line of succession behind the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election—an investigation that President Donald Trump has called “a witch hunt.” The president also recently called the FBI’s and Justice Department’s handling of it “a disgrace,” according to the New York Times.
In her current position, Brand reports directly to Rosenstein and Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, who has recused himself from the Russia investigation.
Last year Trump fired James Comey, the FBI director overseeing the Russia inquiry, and then sought to remove Robert Mueller III, the special counsel named to take it over. The New York Times reports that Trump considered firing Rosenstein, who named Mueller to his job, last summer.
After a memo was released last week that led Trump to believe that Democrats were targeting his team in the Russia investigation, the president refused to say whether he was going to get rid of Rosenstein, telling reporters, “You figure that out.”
Brand is now poised to get the big bucks in the private sector—her next gig is as the global governance director at Walmart, the conglomerate’s top legal job, according to the New York Times.
Brand currently oversees the DOJ’s Civil Division, the Civil Rights Division (hmmm) and the Antitrust Division.
The Times reports that Brand’s assistant, Currie Gunn, has also left the Justice Department.