Attorney General

Several lawyers reportedly rejected potential candidacy for No. 3 post at Justice Department

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Several lawyers approached about the possibility of an appointment to the No. 3 post at the U.S. Justice Department reportedly rejected the potential candidacy.

The difficulty in filling the position has led the Trump administration to put the search on the back burner, according to the Wall Street Journal. Its report is based on people familiar with the matter.

The position of associate attorney general had been held by Rachel Brand, who left to become executive vice president for global governance at Walmart. Her Justice Department successor would have the responsibility of overseeing the special counsel investigation if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were to leave.

At least three people have been approached as potential candidates. The Journal identifies two of them as Helgi Walker of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and Kate Todd, who formerly worked with Brand at the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center. Walker and Todd did not comment when contacted by the newspaper.

Other vacancies at the DOJ have gone unfilled because nominees haven’t been scheduled for a Senate vote. They include nominees to head the criminal and civil rights divisions.

The article attributes delays to concerns related to the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. Democrats want to question nominees about how they would handle the probe if they were involved, while Republicans seek Justice Department concessions on other issues before agreeing to a vote.

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