White House officials pushed Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor to resign before Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs because President Trump was upset he wasn’t doing enough to investigate the president’s unproven claims of election fraud, people familiar with the matter said.
A senior Justice Department official, at the behest of the White House, called the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak late on the night of Jan. 3. In that call the official said Mr. Trump was furious there was no investigation related to election fraud and that the president wanted to fire Mr. Pak, the people said.
Mr. Pak resigned abruptly on Monday—the day before the runoffs—saying in an early morning email to colleagues that his departure was due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
Mr. Pak, who had a job lined up in the private sector, planned to leave by the end of the administration and had drafted a resignation letter, people familiar with his plans said.
Mr. Pak on Jan. 3 considered leaving early after the public release of a call from the day before between Mr. Trump and Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger in which the president pushed the official to overturn the November election results, one person said. When Mr. Pak communicated that on the Sunday call, the White House indicated he should leave immediately, the person said.