ATLANTA — New internal emails made public by a House of Representatives committee show the Trump White House pressured top Department of Justice officials in Washington, D.C., and here in Atlanta about the outcome of Georgia’s presidential election.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray went through the emails that give some information that we already know, but also set out a timeline of events over the first weekend of the year by Trump officials.
The White House first pushed the acting U.S. attorney general to get involved here in Georgia. When that did not work, the next day they turned to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger with the now infamous phone call Channel 2 Action News has reported on several times.
Finally, the following day, White House officials called then-U.S. Attorney B. J. Pak, whose office was here in Atlanta, to end a weekend of unprecedented pressure focused on Georgia.
On Friday, Jan. 1, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wrote to acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen that “there have been allegations of signature match anomalies in Fulton County, Georgia,” and ordered him “to engage on this issue immediately.”
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“Not since Watergate is that a way the Department of Justice is supposed to work,” said former Department of Justice attorney Buddy Parker.
Parker served for 19 years at the DOJ under Republican and Democratic presidents. He said the White House is not supposed to interfere.
That’s why Rosen ignored the White House’s request, writing to his deputy, “Can you believe this. I am not going to respond to the message below.”
“Theres a separation between the White House and the Department of Justice such that the Department of Justice acts independently,” Parker told Gray.
It was the very next day, Saturday, Jan. 2, that President Donald Trump called and pressured Raffensperger to overturn the election.
“So look all I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes,” Trump said on the call.
That phone call is now being investigated by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for possible criminal prosecution.
That takes us to Sunday, Jan. 3, when late that night, at 10:09 p.m., Pak was ordered to call a senior Justice Department official in Washington as soon as possible.
We don’t know what was said in the phone conversation, but just hours later, at 7:41 a.m., Monday, Jan. 4, Pak submitted his resignation to the president and the acting attorney general.
“I take from that, that BJ Pak was ordered to do something, he did not do it and he submitted his resignation,” Parker said.
Gray contacted Pak on Wednesday for comment on this story, but he declined.
What was said to Pak in that conversation is something that Willis and Congressional committees will be very interested in finding out.
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