Here’s a link to the prior blog on immigrationcourtside.com:
Here’s the NBC report by one of my favorite Washington reporters, Julia Edwards Ainsley:
“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.
She will be leaving the Justice Department in the coming weeks to take a position with Walmart as the company’s executive vice president of global governance and corporate secretary, a job change that had been in the works for some time, the sources said.
As far back as last fall, Brand had expressed to friends that she felt overwhelmed and unsupported in her job, especially as many key positions under her jurisdiction had still not been filled with permanent, Senate-confirmed officials.
Four of the 13 divisions overseen by the associate attorney general remain unfilled, including the civil rights division and the civil division, over one year into the Trump administration.
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 pushed back on 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 has had a long legal career that has spanned several administrations, including under Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican George W. Bush.
In announcing her departure, Attorney General Jeff Sessions described Brand as “a lawyer’s lawyer,” noting that she graduated from Harvard Law School and clerked at the Supreme Court.
In the same statement, Brand said, “I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish over my time here.”
Undoubtedly, the DOJ under Trump and Sessions has made some great strides in attacking the rule of law, undermining social justice, mal-administering the Immigration Courts, eroding the credibility of DOJ attorneys in court, and generally diminishing the quality and fairness of the justice system in the United States.
While those might give Rachel “bragging rights” over at Wal-Mart or in right-wing legal circles, I don’t see that they are anything to “write home about.” Hopefully, at some point in the future, having served as a politico in the Trump/Sessions DOJ will become a “career killer” for any future Government appointments.
But, in today’s topsy-turvy legal-political climate, it’s still a shrewd “self-preservation” move on Brand’s part. And, she’s somewhat less likely to be stomping on anyone’s civil rights over at Wal-Mart (although you never know when an opportunity to dump on the civil rights of the LGBTQ community, African-Americans, Latinos, immigrants, women, the poor, or to promote religious intelerance might present itself in a corporate setting).
Looking forward to more DOJ reporting from the super-talented Julia! I’ve missed her on the “immigration beat!”