Posted on Friday 29 June 2007

A Justice Department official who was eyed as a possible replacement for one of several fired U.S. attorneys announced her resignation Friday.

Rachel Brand, the assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy, will step down July 9, the department said in a statement. The statement did not give a reason for her departure, but Brand is expecting a baby soon.

Brand was a member of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ leadership team. When officials were planning to fire U.S. attorneys in San Diego, San Francisco, Michigan and Arkansas, Brand was named as a possible replacement for Margaret Chiari in Michigan, according to documents released as part of a congressional inquiry.

The firings have led to congressional investigations, an internal Justice Department probe and calls from Capitol Hill for the resignation of Gonzales.

Brand previously served as associate counsel to President Bush and helped shepherd Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito through Senate confirmation.
Brand recently testified before the House Judiciary Committee about the Justice Department’s opposition to a bill that would shield reporters from being forced by prosecutors to reveal their sources.
When Cathie Martin testified in the Libby Trial and said of leaks and other Administration activities, "Fewer people pay attention to it late on Friday. Fewer people pay attention when it’s reported on Saturday," we all sort of laughed – thinking it was kind of funny. We had no idea that it was one of their Sacrosanct Commandments. So, late today, Rachel Brand resigned. Who is she?

Rachel Brand
Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy
United States Department of Justice

Rachel Brand Rachel Brand was confirmed by the United States Senate as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy of the United States Department of Justice on July 28, 2005. She had served as Acting Assistant Attorney General since March 28, 2005. As the Assistant Attorney General, she manages the development of a variety of civil and criminal policy initiatives, the creation of departmental regulations, and the Department’s role in the confirmation of the President’s judicial nominees. From July 27, 2003, until her appointment as the Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Brand served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy and focused particularly on issues related to the war on terrorism.

Rachel previously served as an Associate Counsel to the President and, prior to that, was associated with the law firm Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal. She clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice Charles Fried. Rachel received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota.

All I know is that she shepherded Alito’s confirmation hearings. But she was on the "Leadership Team" at the DoJ during the lead-up to the U.S. Attorney firings and was copied on a lot of the emails in the DoJ email dumps. They’re getting down to a skeleton crew there at the DoJ now. The people who are resigning are people we have to look up.

Who are you, Rachel Brand? You were a top student at Harvard and had good clerkships. Are you quitting because you did something you shouldn’t have done, or something you’re ashamed of having done, or are you just tired of working in a place no one respects anymore? Victim or perpetrator? Let us know…

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