Sparta Report

Rachel Brand Quits DOJ For ‘Dream Job’

Is there more to Rachel Brand's resignation than we've been told?

Rachel Brand, the number three official at the Department of Justice, has quit after nine months on the job:

A friend of Brand’s says Rachel was “not looking to leave,” but was approached with a “dream job.” Brand will now head to work for Walmart, Fox News confirmed.

DOJ officials say Principal Deputy Associate AG Jesse Panuccio will step in as the acting Associate Attorney General.

News of Brand’s departure was first reported by The New York Times.

In the line of succession, Brand has been behind Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein is overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. She was in line to oversee the investigation if Rosenstein stepped down.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia inquiry last year.

Rachel Brand was in charge of the Department of Justice’s antitrust, civil and civil rights divisions. Interestingly enough, Brand had also been assisting in an extension of the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program.

It’s worth noting that Brand’s resignation comes barely a week after Attorney General Jeff Sessions praised both her and deputy Rod Rosenstein. Sessions had said that both Brand and Rosenstein “represent the kind of quality and leadership that we want in the department.”

It’s not known how long Brand had been planning to leave the DOJ for her “dream job” at Walmart. Personally, I think the timing of her resignation is interesting. Especially in light of the fact that things are starting to really hit the fan at the DOJ in terms of how the entire department has conducted itself over the course of the last few years.

Is there more to Rachel Brand’s resignation than we’ve been told? I’m betting there is.

 

What is the Line of Succession for Attorney General Now That Rachel Brand is Leaving?

Early in his term last year President Donald Trump issued an executive order, which countermanded an executive order by former President Barack Obama, establishing the line of succession at the Department of Justice.

The original executive order signed by President Obama in January 2017 mandated that the District of Columbia United States Attorney would be elevated should those within the immediate Department of Justice be unable or unavailable to serve.

The line of succession established by President Obama:

  1. Deputy Attorney General
  2. Associate Attorney General
  3. Other Officers potentially designated by the Attorney General, like the Solicitor General, various Assistant Attorney Generals
  4. United States Attorney for the District of Columbia
  5. United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois
  6. United States Attorney for the Central District of California

Should the Attorney General position now occupied by Jeff Sessions become vacant, in a much talked about “Saturday Night Massacre” scenario, the position would go to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. If he were to be removed as well, the next on the list would have been the now resigning Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.

After that, as AG Sessions has not determined the order of succession for his other officials, the executive order signed by President Trump would take effect. The line of succession for Attorney General of the United States would move on to the US district attorneys in the named districts.

President Trump’s 2017 executive order established line of succession at the Department of Justice:

  1. Deputy Attorney General
  2. Associate Attorney General
  3. Other Officers potentially designated by the Attorney General, like the Solicitor General, various Assistant Attorney Generals
  4. United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia
  5. United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  6. United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas

Dana Boente, who was the acting Attorney General after President Trump fired Sally Yates, was the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia before he resigned late last year. Until the current nominee for the district attorney position, John Demers, is confirmed by the Senate, Dana Boente will remain in the position.

On January 23, it was announced that he was brought on to the FBI payroll by director Christopher Wray to act as general counsel.

The recently released House Intelligence Committee memo from the Nunes investigation named Dana Boente as one of the individuals, in addition to Rod Rosenstein, who signed off on the FISA surveillance warrants into President Trump’s communications.

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