Ex-U.S. attorney reportedly testifies he quit before Trump could fire him for not backing election fraud claims

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Byung J. Pak.
Byung J. Pak. AP Photo/ Ron Harris

During closed-door testimony on Wednesday, Byung J. Pak, a former U.S. attorney in Atlanta, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he resigned suddenly in January after being told that then-President Donald Trump was going to fire him for refusing to say there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia, a person familiar with the testimony told The New York Times.

Pak said the warning came on Jan. 3 from top Justice Department officials who relayed that Trump wasn't happy when Pak announced he investigated Trump's claims of voter fraud in Fulton County and found no evidence, the Times reports. Rather than be publicly fired, Pak wrote a letter of resignation on Jan. 4, stating that he did his best "to be thoughtful and consistent, and to provide justice for my fellow citizens in a fair, effective, and efficient manner."

On Jan. 3, audio was leaked to The Washington Post of a Jan. 2 phone call Trump had with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), during which Trump asked Raffensperger to find the number of votes needed to overturn the state's election results and deliver him a victory. During the call, Trump made a reference to "your never-Trumper U.S. attorney there."

The Senate Judiciary Committee is investigating the last weeks of the Trump presidency and pressure his administration put on the Justice Department to falsely claim the election was stolen. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters that Pak "answered all questions in a seemingly honest and candid way, and my impression is that he believes in the rule of law and that he stood up for it."

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