B.J. Pak, who served as President Donald Trump’s U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said the FBI debunked allegations of voter fraud in Atlanta on the night of the 2020 election, after discovering that a supposed suitcase improperly stuffed with ballots for Joe Biden was actually an official voter lockbox.
Testifying at the Monday morning hearing of the congressional committee examining the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, Pak said he was directed by then-Attorney General William Barr to look into the allegations the day after Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, told a Georgia state Senate committee in December 2020 that a video of the vote counting at the State Farm Arena in Fulton County was a “smoking gun” proving fraudulent ballots cast for Biden.
Giuliani played a small snippet of the video at the state Senate hearing that he claimed showed Fulton County vote counters taking out a suitcase filled with ballots cast for Biden was pulled out from underneath a desk on election night after partisan poll watchers were told to leave.
Pak said that on Dec. 4, Barr told him to look into the Giuliani claims and make it a “priority” because he expected he would get asked about them by Trump at the White House. Pak, testifying in public for the first time, told the panel he did as he was asked and had the FBI investigate the State Farm video.
“We found that the suitcase full of ballots was actually an official lockbox where ballots were kept secret,” said Pak. He noted there had been a “misunderstanding” about when the vote counting was supposed to finish that night; after being initially called off (apparently because of a leaky toilet upstairs), the vote counting was resumed and the legal ballot box was retrieved and the ballots counted.
When Giuliani testified to the state committee, “unfortunately, Mr. Giuliani only played a clip of them pulling out the box” — not the full video showing the purported suitcase was a lockbox. “When the FBI interviewed the individuals depicted in the video, it determined that nothing irregular happened in the counting and the allegations made by Mr. Giuliani were false,” Pak said.
Pak resigned as U.S. attorney weeks later, after being told that Trump was planning to fire him.