Byung J. “BJay” Pak, who served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia until earlier this year when he abruptly resigned, will be imminently testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to that committee’s chairman, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). This same committee heard hours of testimony this past weekend from former acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who led the Justice Department in the final weeks of the Trump administration after Bill Barr stepped aside. Both Pak and Rosen can provide critical firsthand perspectives on efforts by then-President Donald Trump to undercut last year’s presidential election.
Sen. Dick Durbin said that former U.S. attorney BJay Pak will be the next witness that his panel plans to interview.
Pak made news when he suddenly resigned in January in the aftermath of leaked audio of Trump pressuring Raffensperger to find enough votes to change the results.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 9, 2021
Pak resigned from his position as U.S. Attorney on January 4 of this year, the day after The Washington Post revealed a phone conversation between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the then-president implored Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to deliver Trump a victory in the state. Trump may have believed that votes in his favor had been somehow swept aside, but in reality, there was no legitimate evidence of any kind of systematic election fraud. Complying with Trump’s request would have required Raffensperger to fraudulently meddle with the election results. During the conversation in which Trump asked Raffensperger to “find” votes, the then-president also complained about a “never-Trumper U.S. attorney” — which the Post identifies as “seemingly a reference to Pak.”
In other words, Pak appears to have stepped aside under the shadow of political pressure from the White House. Broadly, Trump attempted to pressure an array of officials — including Rosen — to pursue his claims of widespread election fraud. Amid these developments, Trump had an ally at the Justice Department, Jeffrey Clark, with whom he was in repeated contact regarding these election fraud falsehoods, and Trump even contemplated replacing Rosen with Clark, adding to the pressure on then-officials to carry out Trump’s corrupt wishes.
According to a report from The Washington Post in January based on remarks from sources, “Pak received a call from a senior Justice Department official in Washington that led him to believe he should resign.” After Pak’s departure, Trump brought in someone from outside the office to replace him, putting Bobby Christine, who served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, in charge. Ordinarily, Pak’s deputy would have taken over the role, but Trump’s placement of someone else in the position adds to the perception that political machinations were involved in Pak’s exit.