Department of Justice official Rachel Brand, the third highest-ranking official at the department after Attorney General Jeff Sessions and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, is resigning her post.
Washington speculates that Brand is leaving to avoid becoming the point person on the Trump-Russia case in the event that Rosenstein is fired by President Trump. Insiders on the left have been skeptical of Brand’s commitment to the anti-Trump effort. Some believe that Brand is resigning at the behest of pro-Rosenstein forces who want him to be replaced with someone similarly committed to the “Russia” probe. Brand was appointed to the #3 gig in May by President Trump and previously taught at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School.
Rosenstein currently oversees special counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation of the president is ongoing despite lack of evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
The New York Times reports: “Ms. Brand now oversees a wide swath of the Justice Department, including the civil division, the civil rights division and the antitrust division. She helped lead the department’s effort to extend a law that authorizes the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program.”
Trump remains tight-lipped on whether he will fire Rosenstein, saying only that he will allow the media to figure out what will happen.
Rosenstein is under scrutiny from Republican lawmakers due to possible Department of Justice knowledge of an FBI plot to conspire against the Trump White House, led in part by Peter Strzok and his paramour Lisa Page.
“Justice is not only our name. Justice is our mission,” Rosenstein testified before the U.S. House, but Republicans including Rep. DeSantis are unimpressed with Rosenstein’s defense of the anti-Trump conspiracy.
Rosenstein said there is “nothing I can talk about publicly” with regard to who started the Russia investigation or whether the FBI paid for the debunked Trump dossier.
DeSantis argues that Rosenstein “should provide” the information he has on the dossier, and that if he doesn’t provide information, “then there will be some things.” :