As previously reported, the third-highest ranking Justice Department official, Rachel Brand, is leaving her post, according to the New York Times.
MSNBC video screenshot of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (L) and Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand (R)
The New York Times reported last week:
Rachel L. Brand, the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, plans to step down after nine months on the job as the country’s top law enforcement agency has been under attack by President Trump, according to two people briefed on her decision.
NBC is now reporting sources say Rachel Brand left her post out of fear she would have to oversee the Russia witch hunt if Rod Rosenstein were to be fired:
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 feared she would be asked to oversee the Russia investigation, the sources said.
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 in danger.
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.
The Justice Department refuted NBC’s report.
“It is clear these anonymous sources have never met Rachel Brand let alone know her thinking. All of this is false and frankly ridiculous,” said Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Flores.
Brand joins a growing list of key officials leaving the FBI/DOJ cabal amid Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s probe into the bureau’s Clinton email investigation.
Rod Rosenstein is under heavy fire after it was revealed he misled the FISA court.
The House Intel Committee released a damning FISA memo revealing Comey, McCabe, Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein all lied to the FISA court when they applied for a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.
Fox News analyst Gregg Jarrett then reported Rod Rosenstein threatened Chairman Nunes and other House Intel Committee members if they didn’t back down with their investigation.
Many believe Rosenstein’s firing or forced resignation is imminent.