Ex-DOJ Official Rachel Brand: I Didn’t Resign Over Mueller Probe

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 02: Deputy U.S. Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein,(L), and Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, participate in a summit to discuss efforts to combat human trafficking, at the Justice Department, on February 2, 2018 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America

Former Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand swatted away rumors on Wednesday that she’d left the position over concerns about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“Anyone who actually knows me knows that had nothing to do with my departure,” she told Fox News in an interview, adding: “I never had any reason to think that the Mueller probe would come to me, and even if it had, it has nothing to do with why I left the department.”

Brand left the Justice Department to take a job as Walmart’s executive vice president of global governance and corporate secretary, Fox News noted.

“These kind of jobs come along maybe once in a career, and when they come along it might not be the perfect timing for you, but you have to take the opportunity when it comes,” Brand said, adding: “This was about seizing an opportunity, not about leaving DOJ.”

Brand, whose departure was first reported by the New York Times earlier this month, would have been next in line behind Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oversee Mueller’s investigation, should Rosenstein have recused himself from the duty — or if Trump fired him.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from oversight of the Russia investigation a year ago, despite President Donald Trump’s reported efforts to keep him on the case.

Brand’s departure led to speculation and reporting, the latter based on unnamed sources, that she had left the DOJ to avoid involvement in the Mueller probe.

Asked by Fox News about the tension between the White House and the Justice Department, Brand said: “I think that the overwhelming majority of the DOJ workforce does a pretty good job of tuning that out.”

On Wednesday, the President kept grinding his ax with the institution.

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