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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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BREAKING: Biden to announce first federal office for gun-violence prevention



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According to unnamed sources first reported by the Washington Post, Biden will announce the first federal office for gun-violence prevention.

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are expected to formally make the announcement of the new office Friday afternoon at a White House event and provide further details.

Gun-control advocates have been trying to get President Biden to take executive action on firearms, including the specific creation of a federal office dedicated to gun-violence prevention since he took office. In January of this year, 117 groups sent a letter to the White House calling for such an office, among other demands.

News reports say President Joe Biden will announce the creation of the first federal office for gun-violence prevention at the end of the week. The Washington Post cited four anonymous sources who have been allegedly been briefed on the executive action.

Biden aide Stefanie Feldman is reported to lead the new office, according to the Post. The Community Justice Action Fund’s Greg Jackson and Everytown for Gun Safety’s Rob Wilcox, leaders of the two prominent gun-control groups, are also expected to hold key roles, reports National Review.

In June 2022, Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which increased background checks for gun buyers under 21, and allocated money to states to implement “red flag” laws.

The Safer Communities Act also allocated billions of dollars for mental health and school-safety programs. Proponents touted it as the first gun-control legislation signed into law in about 30 years.

“I really think this is a testament to survivors, impacted communities, pushing for years the administration to do this,” an anonymous source with direct knowledge of the plan told Politico.

National Review reports: “So far this year, there have been more than 500 shootings in the U.S. in which four or more people were injured or killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive.”

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