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High-ranking federal prosecutor in Georgia resigns, day after leaked Trump-Raffensperger call

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On Monday a high-ranking federal prosecutor in Georgia appointed by President Donald Trump resigned from his post, not giving much information surrounding his departure after less than four years on the job.

In his Monday statement provided by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak did not give much of an explanation as to why he was suddenly leaving his post after such a period of time, or what his plans are for after this. He thanked Trump for “the greatest honor of my professional career,” serving over three years as the top federal law enforcement officer for the Northern District of Georgia, which contains the Atlanta metropolitan area.

“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,” Pak said. “I am grateful to President Trump and the United States Senate for the opportunity to serve, and to former Attorneys General [Jeff] Sessions and [William] Barr for their leadership of the Department.”

Hailing originally from South Korea’s capital Seoul, Pak immigrated to the United States at the age of 9. From 2011 until his 2017 appointment by President Trump, he served as a GOP state representative in the Georgia House of Representatives.

On Monday at around 1 pm (Eastern Time), the online news site Talking Points Memo was the first to report on the memo from Pak released the same day in which the prosecutor cited “unforeseen circumstances” for his resignation.

TPM reports that Pak originally planned to remain on the job until President-elect Joe Biden‘s January 20 inauguration. Typically, incoming presidents replace U.S. attorneys appointed by previous administrations, just as with many other federal offices. Furthermore, U.S. attorneys normally serve out the entirety of their four-year term, making Pak’s departure odder.

Significantly, Pak’s resignation came a day after The Washington Post published a leaked phone call and its transcript it obtained between President Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), as well as their respective teams. During the call, Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to reverse the state’s election results, which went narrowly for Biden even after three recounts. Trump and Raffensperger have repeatedly clashed publicly about the president’s claims that widespread election fraud occurred.

“All I want to do is this,” Trump told the swing state’s elections chief. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.”

The Associated Press reported Monday that Trump, when discussing investigations into his allegations of election fraud during the call, referred to a “never-Trumper U.S. attorney” in Georgia. Whether Trump was referring to Pak with this comment is uncertain.

The president’s actions during the call have been heavily criticized by politicians on both the left and the right, saying it was wrong for him to pressure a state elections official after the results have been certified.

A pair of House Democrats on Monday, backed by others, requested that FBI Director Christopher Wray launch a criminal investigation into the phone call to look into possible election interference on Trump’s part.

During a Monday interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Raffensperger did not rule out the prospect that the Fulton County district—where the president has alleged ballots were destroyed and voting machines meddled with—could potentially launch an investigation into the phone call too.

On Sunday, Raffensperger and Trump clashed on Twitter about the Fulton County allegations.

“I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia,” Trump tweeted. “He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the “ballots under table” scam, ballot destruction, out of state “voters”, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!”

Raffensperger fired back at the outgoing president, saying: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out”.

Prior to serving in Georgia’s House of Representatives, Pak began his career in private practice, then in 2002 became the Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia and would serve for six years. While in this role, he prosecuted a diverse swath of cases that included drug trafficking, money laundering, intellectual property, and white-collar crimes, according to the DOJ’s Monday statement.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Biden’s Poor Polling and Harris’ Low Electability Rating Could Have Democrats Considering ‘Nuclear Option’

Behind-the-scenes discussion of how Democrats could arrive at a third option for the next election is underway

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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With polls consistently showing a poor approval rating for President Joe Biden at below 40 percent, and a recent poll put Kamala Harris’ electability at only 28 percent, Democrats are in full panic mode.

Behind-the-scenes discussion of how Democrats could arrive at a third option for the next election is underway. Operatives are preparing for the possibility of a contested presidential primary in which other would-be nominees take on Ms. Harris, but that could be damaging for the party” reports the Telegraph.

Therefore, Democrats are allegedly whispering about a potential “nuclear option” that would call for current Vice President Harris to be nominated to the Supreme Court. The Telegraph writes that “while the scenario is highly improbable, and perhaps a reflection of a Washington rumor mill in overdrive, the fact it has come up at all shows the depths of the predicament the Biden administration currently finds itself in, amid rising inflation, a stalled domestic agenda, and foreign policy disasters.”

The theory in question would call for President Biden to nominate Harris to the Supreme Court in the event a seat opens in the next three years during his administration. Biden could then use “Section 2 of the 25thAmendment to nominate a more popular vice president”, adds the Telegraph.

Under Section 1 of the 25th Amendment, that new vice president could assume the presidency if Biden were to step down while president. They would then become the Democratic nominee in the 2024 presidential election. That same individual could also be the presumptive Democratic nominee in 2024 if Biden chooses not to run for re-election.

One piece of information that is wetting Democrats’ whistle is that current Supreme Court Justice Breyer has said he does not “want to stay on the Supreme Court until I die.”

The Telegraph notes that “the discussion over potential successors to Mr. Biden is highly unusual less than a year into an administration.”

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