The most senior woman at the department of justice has resigned after nine months in the job, at a time when President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked the department.
Rachel Brand, third in seniority at the department after Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, and Rod Rosenstein, his deputy, is leaving to take a job in the private sector.
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She has held politically-appointed positions at the justice department over the past three presidential administrations.
Ms Brand, who became the associate attorney general in May 2017, has not given any reason for her departure.
However, Mr Trump has called the investigation into Russian meddling in the election, headed by Mr Rosenstein, a “witch hunt” and is reported to have mused firing Mr Rosenstein.
Doing so could have put her in charge of the special counsel and, by extension, left her in the cross hairs of the president.