AJC subpoenaed by Fulton prosecutors for audio of leaked call

Then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Bobby Christine speaks during a Public Safety Committee joint meeting at the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta on Monday, January 27, 2020. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Credit: ALYSSA POINTER

Combined ShapeCaption
Then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Bobby Christine speaks during a Public Safety Committee joint meeting at the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta on Monday, January 27, 2020. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Credit: ALYSSA POINTER

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been subpoenaed for evidence by the Fulton County special grand jury investigating potential criminal meddling in Georgia’s 2020 elections by former President Donald J. Trump.

The 23-person grand jury is seeking the full audio recording of a leaked Jan. 11, 2021 conference call on which the AJC reported involving then-acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Bobby Christine.

Christine, who was days into the role, told federal prosecutors in his new office that he had dismissed two election fraud cases filed by supporters of Trump due to lack of evidence.

“In my opinion, there is no there, there,” he said on the recording.

ExploreTrump’s pick for U.S. attorney in Georgia dismisses election fraud claims: ‘There’s just nothing to them’

Christine was tapped for the position in early January 2021 after his predecessor, Byung J. “BJay” Pak, abruptly resigned. His appointment was a break from the traditional chain of command — when a top prosecutor resigns, they are typically replaced by the office’s No. 2 attorney — and raised fears of political interference.

Before his appointment to the northern district, Christine had been the top prosecutor in Georgia’s southern district since 2017. He retained both positions until President Joe Biden was sworn in.

Pak later testified before Congress that he stepped down because Trump advisers made clear that the then-president wanted him out because he didn’t feel he was aggressive enough in investigating allegations of election fraud.

Pak’s resignation has long been of interest to Fulton prosecutors, who launched their investigation in February 2021.

Earlier this week, the special grand jury subpoenaed testimony from a half-dozen lawyers who worked for the Trump campaign, including Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, as well as South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.

ExploreMultiple advisers told Trump election fraud allegations in Georgia were false