- Bobby Christine, the new US Attorney overseeing federal prosecutions in Atlanta, said in a call with staffers that he was pleasantly surprised to find there were no legitimate election fraud cases, according to a recording obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- President Donald Trump appointed Christine after reportedly pressured his predecessor to resign over the lack of election fraud cases.
- Christine said he already dismissed the two highest-profile cases his department was looking at, which he said had no merit.
- Trump has sought to overturn the results of the election he lost, focusing his efforts on Georgia.
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The newly appointed acting federal prosecutor in Atlanta said in a conference call with staffers Monday that he was surprised to find out the office didn’t have any legitimate election fraud cases.
“Quite frankly, just watching television you would assume that you got election cases stacked from the floor to the ceiling,” said US Attorney Bobby Christine in a recording of the call obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I am so happy to find out that’s not the case, but I didn’t know coming in.”
President Donald Trump installed Christine to the role of Acting US Attorney in Georgia’s northern district on January 5 after his predecessor, Byung Pak, abruptly resigned. US Attorneys typically remain in their roles until the end of a presidential administration and often continue into new ones.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Trump pressured Pak, also a Trump appointee, to resign. According to the Journal, Trump was frustrated that Pak had not launched investigations into election fraud in Georgia, which election officials and independent experts agree does not exist.
Normally when a US Attorney resigns, the role would go to their deputy, but Trump bypassed that process and selected Christine, who is also the US 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 seeking to throw out votes.
But in the call recording obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Christine told staffers that he dismissed two of the highest-profile investigations into election fraud on his first day, finding they had no merit.
“I closed the two most — I don’t know, I guess you’d call them high profile or the two most pressing election issues this office has,” Christine said. “I said I believe, as many of the people around the table believed, there’s just nothing to them.”
Christine donated $2,800 to Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the maximum allowed by law.
In the recording, staffers at the Northern District office asked Christine whether he was appointed for political reasons, and why Pak’s deputy was not chosen for the role. Christine declined to discuss why he was appointed.
Trump has focused his efforts to overturn the election in Georgia
Since he lost the presidential election on November 3, Trump has falsely claimed he actually won and has pushed numerous conspiracy theories about election fraud. He and his allies filed more than 40 lawsuits challenging the results, none of which succeeded.
Trump’s efforts seeking to overturn his loss have focused on Georgia, where he lost by fewer than 12,000 votes and became the first Republican to lose the state in a presidential election in 28 years. The results were upheld in several audits of the state’s results. Democrats later won both of the state’s runoff Senate races.
In a call with Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger earlier in January, Trump appeared to push him to participate in election fraud himself and “find” votes that would allow him to win the state. The call sparked new calls for impeachment.
Trump is expected to be impeached once again Wednesday after inciting a mob to storm the US Capitol building to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s win. At a rally ahead of the insurrection, Trump once again falsely claimed he won and that the presidential election was marred by widespread voter fraud.
Christine told staffers at Georgia’s Northern District that he brought in two election fraud staffers from his Southern District office to look into fraud claims, but ultimately dismissed the major cases the district was looking at.
“In my opinion, there is no there, there,” he said.