Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may have the worst job in the current administration. It falls to him to be the overseer of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump-Russia investigation. That may be why a top Justice Depart (DOJ) quit unexpectedly.
Donald Trump has been making life miserable for Rosenstein, doing everything he can to undermine the investigation into Russia meddling into the 2016 presidential election and potential links to the Trump campaign. He wants Rosenstein to quit.
So far, the assistant AG has hung in there, but his job may well be in serious jeopardy. Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand gave Democrats comfort, because she was next in line should Rosenstein leave. She is known as an honorable, by-the-book government employee. She oversaw a dozen divisions beneath her.
Then, she quit to take a job at Walmart. That was a strange move for a long-term DOJ individual, especially one who was ready for a serious promotion. Why did Brand quit?
People close to her knew the number-three DOJ attorney had been unhappy for much of her nine-month tenure. Four out of the 13 division head positions directly beneath her remained unfilled, including the civil rights division and the civil division — this, a full year into the Trump presidency.
Last fall, the associate attorney general told friends that she felt “overwhelmed and unsupported” in her job, according to NBC News.
Brand was also afraid that the Russia investigation might be dumped into her lap. If Trump fired Rosenstein, she was next in line for his job. She told her friends that she did not want that political spotlight.
The associate AG will take a job with Walmart as the executive vice president of global governance and corporate secretary. Obviously, that move has been in the works for some time.
Spokesperson for the Justice Department, Sarah Flores, said according to NBC News:
‘It is clear these anonymous sources have never met Rachel Brand let alone know her thinking. All of this is false and frankly ridiculous.’
Brand worked for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also pointed out that she graduated from Harvard Law School and clerked for the Supreme Court. He called her “a lawyer’s lawyer:”
‘I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish over my time here…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.’
Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said:
‘We are fortunate to have a leader of Rachel Brand’s stature join the company. 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 spoke to NBC News:
‘She’s leaving, because she has the kind of job offer you don’t turn down.’
Brand will leave “in the next few weeks.” That means, she will have left not quite nine months into the Trump administration.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Mark Wilson.