Top DOJ official who quit feared being asked to oversee Russia probe: report

Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand expressed fears that she would be asked to oversee the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election prior to her decision to resign, NBC News reported on Monday.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE’s public criticism of Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Judge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena MORE — the No. 2 official at the Department of Justice (DOJ) who is overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE’s probe — made Brand worry he might get fired, leaving her to take over the investigation, NBC News reported.


Sources close to Brand said she did not want to be under the political spotlight that the role would likely bring, according to NBC News.

She also told friends that she was overwhelmed and unsupported at the DOJ, especially due to a lack of Senate-confirmed officials.

In a statement to The Hill, the DOJ pushed back on the NBC report. "It is clear that these anonymous sources have never met Rachel Brand let alone know her thinking. All of this is false and frankly ridiculous," spokeswoman Sarah Flores said. 

The DOJ announced Brand's resignation on Friday.

She currently oversees 13 divisions, including the department’s civil, civil rights and antitrust divisions. She will leave in the coming weeks to work for Walmart as the executive vice president, global governance and corporate secretary.

Brand has been at her current post for less than a year. Previously, she has clerked at the Supreme Court, worked at the White House and for the two previous administrations.

"I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish over my time here,” Brand said in a statement.

Updated: 2:01 p.m.