Where Things Stand: Two Big Scoops On One Weird Story

This is your TPM afternoon briefing.
January 5, 2021 12:30 p.m.

Yesterday, TPM broke the news that the Atlanta-area U.S. attorney was leaving his post early. Byung Jin “BJay” Pak, of the Northern District of Georgia, had planned to leave on Inauguration Day, but instead was leaving immediately due to “unforeseen circumstances,” he told his staff yesterday.

Today, we learned who will replace him: Bobby Christine, the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. TPM broke that story too.

That move, bypassing the first assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District, was personally ordered by President Trump himself, according to a Tuesday morning update to DOJ’s website.

The whole situation caught the attention of MSNBC last night. We’ll continue to follow this — and there’s plenty else going on today as well.

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Kate Riga is heading up our Georgia runoff coverage today. You can find our liveblog here.

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Matt Shuham, meanwhile, is keeping tabs on the brewing protests by right-wing groups that will take place in D.C. during Congress’ Electoral College vote tomorrow.

Josh Kovensky is digging into the failure of Operation Warp Speed’s effort to distribute vaccines in the “final mile” — the part the federal government left to the states.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

Not great: Rep. Chip Roy delivered a dire warning to Tucker Carlson last night, Cristina Cabrera notes. “What happens tomorrow in Georgia … if we have a Democratically controlled Senate, we’re now basically at full-scale hot conflict in this country,” Roy told Carlson. “Whereas right now we’re in a cold civil war.”

If You Read Anything On COVID-19 Today, Read This

Public Health Experts Decry Slow Vaccination Campaign As ‘Unconscionable’ — Josh Kovensky

Coming Up

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are meeting with transition advisers.

President Donald Trump has nothing on his schedule except for a message that has become standard over the last several days: “President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings.”

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

EXCLUSIVE: Atlanta-Based U.S. Attorney Abruptly Departs Office Sooner Than Expected — Tierney Sneed

What We Are Reading

Statement of Congressman Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom Raskin on the Remarkable Life of Tommy Raskin — Rep. Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom Raskin

74 of Our Favorite Facts for 2020 — Times Insider Staff

My Dinners with le Carré — Jeff Leen

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