A Fulton County special grand jury is seeking the testimony of the former federal prosecutor who stepped in to lead the Atlanta U.S. Attorney’s office in the final days of the Trump administration.
A new court filing from an Alabama attorney on Thursday confirmed that ex-U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine has been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury, which is investigating whether former President Donald Trump or his allies broke the law as they sought to overturn the results of Georgia’s last presidential election.
In the filing, Birmingham-based attorney Miles “Matt” Hart acknowledged Christine’s summons, though he provided few other details.
Reached by phone on Thursday afternoon, Hart declined to comment on when Christine was scheduled to testify and what the 23-person grand jury may want to question his client about. But he did clarify that Christine, now Columbia County district attorney, is not a “target” of the Fulton investigation.
“He was simply a witness,” Hart told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Christine did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Neither did the Fulton DA’s office, which is advising the grand jury.
It’s no surprise that jurors are seeking the testimony of Christine. The grand jury has for months been interested in the tumult that befell the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Georgia in January 2021.
This summer, jurors subpoenaed the AJC for an audio recording of a conference call among prosecutors in Georgia’s Northern District that the paper had reported on in early 2021.
The call featured Christine, then the newly appointed acting U.S. attorney, reassuring his colleagues rattled by the unexpected departure of their former boss, Byung J. “BJay” Pak.
Senior Trump administration officials had tapped Christine, who had been the top federal prosecutor in Georgia’s Southern District, to replace Pak, bypassing the normal chain of command and raising fears of potential political interference.
Pak later testified before the congressional Jan. 6 committee that he resigned after it was communicated to him that Trump was unhappy with his work and believed he wasn’t being aggressive enough in investigating voter fraud cases.
During the conference call, Christine told prosecutors that he had dismissed two election fraud cases filed by supporters of Trump due to lack of evidence.
“I believe, as many of the people around the table believed, there’s just nothing to them,” Christine said during the call.
Christine’s subpoena suggests that Fulton prosecutors have received the greenlight from the Justice Department, which must approve the testimony of all current and former Justice Department personnel for court appearances.
Hart’s paperwork also stated that he has been retained to represent Christine “on related matters” before the Jan. 6 committee, the DOJ’s inspector general’s office and the Washington, D.C.-based federal grand jury that’s aiding the Justice Department’s investigation of the Jan. 6 attack.