“New U.S. attorney in Atlanta brings in assistants who worked on election-fraud issues, raising fears of political interference”


The top federal prosecutor in Savannah, Ga. — whom President Trump recently tapped to take over the U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta — has brought to his new assignment two assistants previously tasked with monitoring possible election fraud, raising fears that he might be taking steps to lend credibility to Trump’s baseless claims of electoral malfeasance, people familiar with the matter said.

The move by U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine in the waning days of the Trump administration follows unusual events this week in the federal prosecutor offices in Atlanta and Savannah that have fueled suspicions among legal observers of political interference in law enforcement work.

On Monday, Byung J. “BJay” Pak, whom Trump had appointed as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia in 2017, unexpectedly told colleagues he was stepping down. On Tuesday, officials announced that Christine would take over for Pak, bypassing Pak’s top deputy, who otherwise might have moved into the job by default.

Then, Christine tapped two assistant U.S. attorneys in the Southern District of Georgia — Joshua S. Bearden and Jason Blanchard — for some type of work in the Northern District, people familiar with the matter said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s political sensitivity. Their task is unclear, but Christine had recently assigned both to serve as district election officers reviewing complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses.


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