Former US Attorney in Atlanta tells Congress he resigned before Trump could fire him for refusing to say there was election fraud in Georgia
- Byung Pak resigned suddenly as US attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4
- On Wednesday, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee he had been warned that President Trump planned to fire him
- He said senior officials warned him he was to be removed for failing to back Trump’s claims of voter fraud in Georgia, reported the New York Times
- The committee is investigating Trump’s final days in office and his efforts to hold on to power
Byung J. Pak told congressional investigators on Wednesday that he resigned abruptly as a U.S. attorney in Atlanta after he was warned President Donald Trump intended to fire him for refusing to say that voter fraud had been found in Georgia.
A source familiar with his testimony said Pak explained how he had done his best ‘to be thoughtful and consistent, and to provide justice for my fellow citizens in a fair, effective and efficient manner.’
His comments go some way to clearing up the mystery behind his sudden departure on Jan 4, and come amid a slew of reports about how Trump sought to pressure officials in Georgia and at the Department of Justice in Washington over the results of the election.
Byung Pak resigned suddenly on Jan. 4 as a U.S. attorney in Atlanta. He gave evidence about his decision behind closed doors to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday
Pak told the committee he resigned because he had been warned President Trump planned to fire him for failing to back his election fraud claims, according to the New York Times
Documents recently released by the House show that Pak resigned after a weekend when Trump considered overhauling DOJ leadership.
Pak reportedly testified the his resignation pre-empted a public dismissal, which senior department officials told him was imminent.
He also described work done by officials to investigate Trump’s claims of voter fraud, and said they found no evidence to support his allegations.
The hearing is part of the committee’s broader investigation into Trump’s final weeks in power and his efforts to pressure officials into asserting the election was stolen from him.
Pak’s resignation is also being investigated by the Justice Department’s inspector general.
Georgia became one of the key post-election battlegrounds for Trump and his allies as they claimed he had been cheated of victory.
The extent of their pressure, and the way the former president tried to use the DOJ to press his case, has emerged in the weeks and months since Trump’s defeat.
Before leaving office Trump pressured Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to ‘find’ enough votes to reverse the result, according to a recording of a telephone call that surfaced in January.
The call was made on Jan. 2, two days before Pak resigned.
The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times later revealed that acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue spoke to Pak by telephone on the evening before his resignation.
Former President Trump was spotted leaving Trump Tower in Manhattan on Wednesday with from a discreet side exit with the minimum of fuss
Donoghue reportedly described White House frustration at his failure to launch voter fraud investigations.
Further details about Trump’s efforts emerged in documents released last month.
Notes from a December phone conversation with senior DOJ officials reveal how Trump tried to get them to declare the 2020 election ‘corrupt.’
‘We have an obligation to tell people that this was an illegal, corrupt election,’ Trump is quoted as saying.
They refused, according to documents passed to the House Oversight Committee.
In the same call, Trump appeared to threaten a leadership overhaul in the department.