She served under Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is now overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Had President Trump made a decision to fire Rosenstein, Brand would have taken over his post at the DOJ.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, listen to the national anthem during the opening ceremony of the summit on Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking at the Department of Justice in Washington, Feb. 2, 2018. Brand's assistant has also left the Justice Department. She was in line to oversee the investigation if Rosenstein stepped down. At that event, Mr. Sessions thanked her for her "strong leadership as our third in command at the department".
Mr. Trump in recent weeks has escalated his criticism of the department for its handling of the inquiry and suggested that top law enforcement officials should face consequences for conduct he called "a disgrace". Reports that Mr. Trump had tried to fire Mr. Mueller and had considered firing Mr. Rosenstein raised questions of who would replace Mr. Rosenstein. The reason for her departure is unclear, and her exit caught senior Justice Department officials by surprise. She received a job offer she could not turn down, according to NBC.
"I think it's a disgrace what's happening in our country", Trump said last week when he was asked about the release of a memo from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee claiming abuses in the Russian Federation investigation.
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With the investigation said to be "very active and dynamic", Baker stated there will be no further comment until the case is resolved.
Before her confirmation in May, she served for five years on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an appointee of President Obama.
Most recently, in late January, Andrew McCabe - the deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - announced that he will be stepping down from his post after months of intense criticism from Trump.
Brand's responsibilities at the DOJ included the department's civil rights and antitrust divisions, according to the Times.