And then there were seven

AND THEN THERE WERE SEVEN….For an “overblown personnel matter,” the U.S. Attorney scandal sure has produced a lot of Justice Department resignations.

A Justice Department official who was considered as a possible replacement for one of several fired United States attorneys has resigned. The official, Rachel L. Brand, the assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy, will step down July 9, the department said. The statement did not give a reason for her departure, but Ms. Brand is expecting a baby soon. She was a member of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s leadership team.

When officials were planning to fire prosecutors in San Diego, San Francisco, Michigan and Arkansas, Ms. Brand was named as a possible replacement for Margaret Chiari in Michigan, according to documents released as part of a Congressional inquiry.

Brand is the seventh senior aide to Gonzales to resign in the past few months.

She’s also the latest to depart late on a Friday afternoon, a time the White House routinely uses (abuses) to hide embarrassing news. For those keeping score at home, Brand joins William Mercer, the former Acting Associate Attorney General; Michael Elston, former chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty; and Monica Goodling, Gonzales’ former White House liaison, as top DoJ officials who stepped down by way of The Late-Friday-Media Trick.