Thursday, February 21, 2019 | ePaper

US Justice Department's no. 3 official resigns

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Reuters, Washington :
The U.S. Justice Department's third-ranking official, Rachel Brand, plans to step down and take a senior job at Walmart Inc, sources familiar with her decision said on Friday, at a time when President Donald Trump has taken aim at senior law enforcement officials.
Brand was next in line of succession to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russia and whether the Republican president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the ongoing probe.
Rosenstein oversees Mueller's investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the matter last year.
READ MORE: Donald Trump says newly released FBI text messages are 'BOMBSHELLS'
After just nine months on the job, Brand had grown increasingly uncomfortable with Trump's escalating attacks on the Justice Department and the FBI, which she and other law enforcement professionals feared was beginning to undermine the rule of law, according to sources familiar with her thinking.
The attacks have escalated in recent weeks as Republicans in Congress have criticized the handling by the Justice Department, FBI and the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court of warrants for surveillance of a Trump campaign advisor, Carter Page, who had ties to Russia. Trump called the matter "a disgrace."
Another source, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Brand will go to work as an executive at Walmart, the world's largest retailer.
A Justice Department spokesman declined comment.

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