Trump-appointed US attorney resigns in Georgia

Politics

US President Donald Trump pauses while speaking at the Economic Club of New York at the New York Hilton Midtown November 12, 2019, in New York, New York. – European stock markets closed higher on Tuesday, helped by speculation that US President Donald Trump will postpone a tariffs decision on European-made cars. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — The top federal prosecutor in Atlanta left his position Monday, a day after an audio recording was made public in which President Donald Trump called him a “never-Trumper.”

Byung J. “BJay” Pak, who was appointed by Trump, announced his resignation as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia in a news release. The statement did not say why Pak was leaving or what he plans to do next.

“It has been the greatest honor of my professional career to have been able to serve my fellow citizens as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia,” Pak said in the release. “I have done my best to be thoughtful and consistent, and to provide justice for my fellow citizens in a fair, effective and efficient manner. I am grateful to President Trump and the United States Senate for the opportunity to serve, and to former Attorneys General Sessions and Barr for their leadership of the Department.”

Trump on Saturday had a phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, during which the president insisted that the state’s top election official re-examine results of the presidential election, and by doing so, the state would find enough votes to hand Trump the victory and the state’s 16 electoral votes. A recording of that call was obtained Sunday by news outlets including The Associated Press.

During the roughly hourlong call, Trump advanced numerous claims without evidence. Referring to investigations into his unfounded claims of voter fraud, the president said, “You have your never-Trumper U.S. attorney there.”

There was no widespread fraud in the election, which a range of election officials across the country, as well as Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, have confirmed. Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, key battleground states crucial to Biden’s victory, have also vouched for the integrity of the elections in their states. Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges, including two tossed by the Supreme Court, which includes three Trump-nominated justices.

Pak was sworn in as U.S. attorney in the Atlanta-based Northern District of Georgia in October 2017 after having been appointed by Trump. Pak was a Republican state lawmaker from 2011 to 2017, had previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney from 2002 to 2008 and was working in private practice at the time of his appointment.

In announcing Pak’s nomination, the White House said that he and five other nominees for U.S. attorney posts “share the president’s vision for ‘Making America Safe Again.’”

A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately respond Monday to questions about what sparked Pak’s sudden resignation or whether acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen had sought the departure.

Pak’s resignation comes nearly a month after the departure of Charlie Peeler, who was appointed by Trump in 2017 to serve as U.S. attorney for the Macon-based Middle District of Georgia. Peeler resigned on Dec. 11, saying in a news release that he planned to return to private practice with an Atlanta law firm.

The Associated Press and AP’s Kate Brumback contributed to this report

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