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Justice Department’s No. 3 official leaving for top legal post at Walmart

BY Marianne Wilson

The third-ranking official at the U.S. Justice Department is leaving to take a job in the private sector.

Walmart announced Rachel Brand will join the company as executive VP, global governance and corporate secretary, effective April 2. Brand, who will report to president and CEO Doug McMillon, will be responsible for the company’s legal, global ethics and compliance and global investigation, security, aviation and travel departments, along with her role as corporate secretary. She is replacing Jeff Gearhart, who retired at the end of January.

Brand’s departure created headlines because she is next in line to take over supervision of Robert Mueller’s special counsel if Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general of the Justice Department, were to quit or be fired. But associates downplayed her resignation. A close friend of Brand said, “She’s leaving, because she has the kind of job offer you don’t turn down,” reported NBC News.

“We are fortunate to have a leader of Rachel Brand’s stature join the company,” McMillon said. “We have strengthened our governance capabilities and Rachel will help us continue on that journey. Her strong character, capabilities and experience will enable her to contribute broadly as we shape the future of Walmart and strive to serve our customers even more effectively.”

Brand, the first woman to serve as associate attorney General, was sworn into office May 22, 2017. (She previously served in the Justice Department from 2003 to 2007, during the George W. Bush administration.)

After graduating from Harvard Law School, where she served as deputy editor-in-chief of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Brand clerked on the Massachusetts Supreme Court and then the U.S. Supreme Court, where she clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy.

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