- Bobby Christine, the new U.S. attorney who oversees federal prosecutions in Atlanta, said in a call with staff that he was pleasantly surprised to find that there was no legitimate election fraud, according to a recording obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution .
- President Donald Trump appointed Christine after allegedly pressuring her predecessor to resign due to the lack of election fraud cases.
- Christine said he was already dismissing the two highest-profile cases his department looked at, which he said had no merit.
- Trump has tried to overturn the results of the election he lost and focus his efforts on Georgia.
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The newly appointed acting federal prosecutor in Atlanta said in a conference call with staff on Monday that he was surprised to find out that the office had no legitimate election fraud cases.
“Honestly, just by watching television, you would assume you were getting election cases stacked from floor to ceiling,”
President Donald Trump installed Christine in the role of acting U.S. attorney in Georgia’s northern district on January 5, after his predecessor, Byung Pak, abruptly resigned. U.S. attorneys typically remain in their roles until the end of a presidential administration and often continue with new ones.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Trump was pushing Pak, also a designated Trump, to resign. According to the Journal, Trump was frustrated that Pak had not launched an investigation into election fraud in Georgia, which election officials and independent experts agree does not exist.
Normally when a U.S. lawyer resigns, the role would go to their deputy, but Trump bypassed that process and chose Christine, who is also the U.S. attorney for Georgia’s southern district. Georgia’s northern district includes the city of Atlanta, which has a large black population and where Trump has focused his efforts on casting votes.
But in the call recording obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Christine told staff that he dismissed two of the high-profile investigations into election fraud on his first day and found that they had no merit.
“I closed the two most – I do not know, I assume you will call them high profile or the two most pressing election issues this office has,” said Christine. “I said, I think, as many of the people around the table thought, there’s just nothing about them.”
Christine donated $ 2,800 to Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign under the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the maximum allowed by law.
In the recording, staff at the Northern District Office asked Christine if he was appointed for political reasons and why Pak’s deputy was not elected to the role. Christine refused to discuss why he was appointed.
Trump has focused his efforts on overthrowing the election in Georgia
Since losing the November 3 presidential election, Trump has erroneously claimed that he actually won and has pushed several conspiracy theories about election fraud. He and his allies filed more than 40 lawsuits challenging the results, none of which succeeded.
Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss have focused on Georgia, where he lost by less than 12,000 votes and became the first Republican to lose the state in a presidential election in 28 years. The results were maintained in several revisions of the state’s results. Democrats later won both state runoff senate races.
In a call with Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger earlier in January, Trump appeared to be pushing him to even participate in election fraud and “find” votes that would allow him to win the state. The call sparked new calls for prosecution.
Trump is expected to be indicted once again Wednesday after urging a mob to storm the U.S. Capitol building to prevent Congress from confirming Biden’s victory. At a pre-insurgency meeting, Trump again erroneously claimed that he won and that the presidential election was marred by widespread voter fraud.
Christine told staff in Georgia’s northern district that he brought two election fraud workers from his southern district office to investigate fraud claims, but ultimately rejected the major cases the district was looking at.
“In my opinion, there is no one there, there, “he said.