Key Justice Department Head Is Leaving

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller special counsel on the Russian investigation leaves following a meeting with members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee at the US Capitol in Washington DC

Rachel Brand, Associate Attorney General of the Department of Justice, will leave her post in the coming weeks to join Walmart as executive vice president, global governance and corporate secretary. The New York Times first reported the news prior to the official announcement. A close friend of Brand said, "She's leaving, because she has the kind of job offer you don't turn down", reported NBC News.

The possibility of Brand being thrust into the Russian Federation investigation increased in recent weeks as Rosenstein came under political attack from Republicans for supporting the renewal of a surveillance warrant on a former Trump campaign adviser.

Were Rosenstein to get fired or to be forced into recusing himself - he also played a role in Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey - Brand would oversee a probe that has already led to conspiracy and money laundering charges against two top former Trump campaign officials.

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.

Trump had hinted to reporters that he might fire Rosenstein after reading the controversial memo written by Rep. Devin Nunes. A White House spokesman later said there were no plans to do so.

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The report does not elaborate on which aspects of the probe Brand dreaded taking on, or whether it was merely the prospect of being thrust into one of the highest-pressure jobs in politics that gave her pause.

Next in line at the Justice Department is Solicitor General Noel Francisco. If he does not or can not do so, the United States attorneys for the Eastern District of Virginia, the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Northern District of Texas are next in the order of succession, respectively. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 19.

From 2003-2007, she worked in the Department of Justice, including President George W. Bush's assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Policy, which develops and implements the department's significant policy initiatives. "I've seen firsthand his commitment to the rule of law and to keeping the American people safe".

This article has been updated to include confirmation from the Department of Justice, details from a department press release and information about Rachel Brand's likely temporary replacement.

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