In bypassing Christine, Trump was bypassing the prosecutor, who would normally take over the position of First Assistant to US Attorney Kurt Erskine in an emergency or sudden vacancy.
A White House spokesman referred questions about the shuffle back to the Justice Department.
Trump’s appointment of a new leader to the U.S. attorney’s office in Georgia’s largest city comes as he continues to rail against the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for failing to act aggressively in the November elections on what they call unlawful fraud referred to Georgia and other swing states.
Georgia election officials have refuted Trump’s claims in detail. In addition, former Attorney General Bill Barr said late last year that he had seen no evidence of widespread fraud that could have affected the election result. Barr declined to appoint a dedicated attorney to investigate such claims before stepping down last month.
US attorneys are typically replaced after a change in presidential administration, and some leave the country before the formal transfer of power. Pak was expected to last until the day of inauguration.
Pak’s resignation and Christine’s assignment were first reported in Talking Points’ memo quoted an internal memo von Pak, who attributes his hasty departure to “unforeseen circumstances”. From Tuesday morning, the website “Meet the U.S. Attorney “ which earlier contained Pak’s bio, simply said “will be added shortly.”
Last June, Barr made an awkward attempt to oust US attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman, and replace him on an acting basis with US attorney in New Jersey, Craig Carpenito, who was viewed more as a Trump loyalist. While Berman was tapped by the administration to take on the acting job, he was never officially nominated for the position.
The attempted reshuffle sparked outrage among prosecutors in Berman’s office, some of whom had investigated Trump, his companies, and his allies over allegations of campaign funding and other issues. Barr eventually stepped down from the plan to install Carpenito and allowed Manhattan’s first US assistant attorney, Audrey Strauss, to serve as an actress.