Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reiterated in a recent meeting that he may have to recuse himself from overseeing the special counsel's investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, sources told ABC News.
ABC said Rosenstein told Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand that she would have to assume those responsibilities if he disqualified himself from the investigation.
Brand was sworn in as associate attorney general on May 22.
A Justice Department spokesman told CNBC, "As the Deputy Attorney General has said numerous times, if there comes a point when he needs to recuse, he will. However, nothing has changed."
Earlier this month, Rosenstein told The Associated Press he would recuse himself from overseeing Robert Mueller's investigation if his role in former FBI Director James Comey's firing becomes relevant to the inquiry.
"I've talked with Director Mueller about this," Rosenstein told AP. "He's going to make the appropriate decisions, and if anything that I did winds up being relevant to his investigation then, as Director Mueller and I discussed, if there's a need from me to recuse, I will."
Rosenstein wrote the memo laying out the case for new leadership at the FBI. He subsequently appointed Mueller as special counsel for the investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.