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00:00:00
>> Others have called->> The Justice Department's third in command is stepping down. That's according to sources who tell Reuters that Rachel Brand, the next top DOJ official behind Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plans to leave the Department after nine months on the job, and will take a senior position at Walmart.
00:00:18
Reuters correspondent Warren Strobel.>> This resignation of the number three official at the Justice Department is the latest in a series of turmoil really in the US law enforcement agencies, both the FBI and Justice Department. You've had the firing by President Trump of the FBI Director Jim Comey.
00:00:36
You've have the departure recently of the Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. And you just have a sense of almost that the departments are under siege by the White House and by Trump's allies on Capitol Hill. We also have sources saying that she was uncomfortable with the, I guess, the political atmosphere and the attacks from the Trump Administration on the Justice Department and FBI.
00:00:59
>> Her departure is especially startling considering this public praise for Brand from Attorney General Jeff Sessions just last week.>> Rod and Rachel are Harvard graduates, they are experienced lawyers. Rachel's had a number of years in the department previously. And so they both represent the kind of quality and leadership that we want in the department.
00:01:23
>> But Trump reportedly considered firing her boss who oversees Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Sessions recused himself from that probe.>> This is beginning to resonate and have just a little bit of echoes of what was called the Saturday Night Massacre during Watergate when a series of Justice Department officials resigned rather than carry out then President Nixon's order to fire a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate crimes.
00:01:52
We're not there yet, but that is a sort of the comparison that people are starting to make.>> I think it's a disgrace.>> Last week, Trump signed off on the release of a controversial memo that House Republicans said showed political bias at the Justice Department and the FBI.
00:02:05
But late on Friday the President blocked the release of a classified memo written by House Democrats that rebutted the Republican memo. The White House saying, quote, although the President is inclined to declassify the February 5th memo, because the memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages, he is unable to do so at this time.