U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine has left the Atlanta office that former President Trump hand-picked him to lead while he was trying to reverse Georgia’s election results, the Washington Post reported Monday.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta is now being led by Kurt Erskine, the career prosecutor who was passed over when former U.S. Attorney Byung Jin “Bjay” Pak left his Atlanta post in early January.
Trump intervened in that line of succession to give the job to Christine, whom he had previously appointed as U.S. attorney in Savannah. Christine is still serving as U.S. attorney in Savannah, the Washington Post said.
The circumstances of Pak’s departure made Trump’s intervention all the more sketchy, and the shake-up is now the subject of an inspector general investigation.
Pak abruptly announced his resignation on Jan. 4, while Trump was on a crusade to overturn Biden’s win in Georgia. Pak was encouraged to resign by a top Trump appointee at the Justice Department, the Wall Street Journal reported. Trump appeared to refer to Pak as a “Never Trumper” during his Jan. 2 call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the DOJ official communicated to Pak on Jan. 3 that the White House was dissatisfied with his refusal to pursue bogus election fraud claim.
Just before the shake-up in the Atlanta office, President Trump also weighed replacing his acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen with a DOJ official who was more willing to use the Department to boost Trump’s false election claims, the New York Times reported.
Christine has never explained why Trump chose him over the Atlanta office’s top career prosecutor to fill the vacancy left by Pak. But whatever hopes Trump had that Christine would go along with his election schemes, they fell apart when Christine privately told the Atlanta office on Jan. 11 that he had not found evidence of mass fraud in Georgia’s election.