By Associated Press - Tuesday, January 5, 2021

ATLANTA (AP) - President Donald Trump has named a new, acting U.S. attorney in Atlanta, a day after the abrupt resignation of the man who held the post since 2017.

Bobby Christine, who already serves as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, is now also the acting U.S. Attorney for the Atlanta-based Northern District, according to a brief news release from the U.S. Justice Department. Christine’s government website says Trump issued the order naming him to the post on Monday.

Christine replaces Byung J. “BJay” Pak, who announced his resignation Monday without giving a reason.

It’s not unusual for U.S. attorneys to leave their posts as presidential administrations change. Pak’s announcement Monday, however, was notable because it came a day after recordings of a telephone call became public in which President Donald Trump, who nominated Pak for the position, appeared to suggest that Pak was a “never-Trumper” - a term often used for conservative and Republican critics of Trump.

“You have your never-Trumper U.S. attorney there,” Trump is heard saying during the call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican. Trump suggested during the call that Raffensperger might find enough votes to reverse the outcome of the presidential race in the state - an idea Raffensperger rejected.

Pak was a Republican state lawmaker from 2011 to 2017. He had previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney from 2002 to 2008 and was working in private practice at the time of his appointment. At the time, he was among U.S. attorney nominees said by the White House to “share the president’s vision for ‘Making America Safe Again.”

The Justice Department said Christine, also nominated by Trump in 2017, will continue to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia while filling the vacancy left by Pak.

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