The top U.S. prosecutor in Atlanta, Georgia resigned from his position late last night, giving no clear reason for his departure.
Online news site Talking Points Memo reported a memo from US Attorney Byung “BJay” Pak dated Monday in which the prosecutor blamed “unforeseen circumstances” for his departure, per NPR.
“It has been the greatest honor of my professional career to have been able to serve my fellow citizens as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia,” Pak wrote in his announcement. “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 is regarded in GOP circles in Georgia as a “star” on the rise, with a very bright career in elected politics if he chooses to go that route.
The departure of Pak, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, comes two days after a phone call between the president and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was leaked to the press.
In the call, Trump, referring to investigations into claims of voter fraud, referred to a “never-Trumper U.S. attorney” in Georgia, according to The Associated Press. It’s unclear, however, whether Trump was referring to Pak with this comment.
Pak submitted his resignation Monday after serving for more than three years as the chief federal law enforcement officer for the Northern District of Georgia.
Talking Points Memo says Pak originally intended to stay in office until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. New presidential administrations usually replace U.S. attorneys from prior administrations; however, it’s not usual for them to leave before the end of their term.
By announcing the decision today, Pak gives life to the idea that he was asked to do something with which he disagreed, and his only honorable response was to resign his position rather than follow the direction he was given.