Trump-nominated US attorney in Atlanta abruptly leaves post
An Atlanta-based U.S. attorney appointed by President Trump abruptly left his position on Monday after serving three years in the role, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia announced Monday.
U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, the first Korean American to become a U.S. attorney, resigned, effective immediately, on Monday after Trump appointed him to the position in 2017.
Pak, who was born in South Korea, called serving as a U.S. attorney “the greatest honor of my professional career.”
“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,” he said in a release.
“As I look back at my almost a decade serving the Department of Justice (and this office in particular), the most memorable and fulfilling moments involve working very closely with our law enforcement partners in keeping our communities safe,” he added.
After his appointment, Pak took over the corruption investigation into Atlanta City Hall and the administration of then-Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed that prosecutors had worked on since 2015.
Under Pak, the probe led to seven guilty pleas from contractors and city officials and four indictments.
Pak previously served in the Georgia House of Representatives for six years and before that as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Georgia.
His resignation came less than a month after the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Charles Peeler, who was also appointed by Trump, announced he would step down, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
It’s not rare for U.S. attorneys to leave their positions early when a new president is expected to take office, to allow the president-elect time to select a new prosecutor.
But Pak’s departure came the day after Georgia once again captured national attention after The Washington Post released audio on Sunday of a phone call between President Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
The president has drawn scrutiny for the Saturday phone call in which he repeatedly asked Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes to make Trump the winner of the state instead of President-elect Joe Biden.