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Atlanta Attorney tapped by President Biden for top position


Ryan Buchanan, a veteran federal prosecutor with expertise in national security, has been nominated by President Joe Biden to become the next U.S. Attorney for the Atlanta-based Northern District of Georgia. 

Buchanan was recommended to Biden by U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Buchanan has more than a decade of experience as a federal prosecutor under his belt. The Georgia Senators pointed to Buchanan’s experience as an assistant U.S. attorney in Atlanta and as deputy chief of the office’s Violent Crime and National Security division. In making the case for their recommendation, Warnock said, “Mr. Buchanan has dealt with everything from organized crime to foreign terrorist organizations over the course of his accomplished career, and few people in our state can match the scope of his legal expertise in securing justice and keeping Americans safe.”

As the chief federal law enforcement in the U.S. Northern District of Georgia, a territory that stretches across the northern third of Georgia, Buchanan will oversee an office of roughly 110 prosecutors and 135 other staffers who handle the investigation and litigation of all civil and criminal cases brought in the district on behalf of the federal government.

Buchanan will succeed Kurt Erskine, a veteran prosecutor who has been serving as acting U.S. attorney while the Biden administration vetted potential nominees for the role.

Until January of this year, the office was headed up by Byung “BJay” Pak, a former Republican legislator who was appointed by Donald Trump during his presidency. Pak abruptly resigned at the beginning of the year from the position. Many wondered about his sudden departure. It was later revealed that Pak chose to step down from his post rather than heed demands from the Trump White House to investigate false claims of voter fraud in Georgia. Pak was not alone in being pressured by Trump to support claims of voter fraud. The Governor and Secretary of State were both being pressured by Trump and his White House. Pak recently shared with congressional lawmakers that he stepped down on Jan. 4 after a high-ranking Justice Department official told him that the President considered him a “Never Trumper” and wanted to fire him.

Buchanan started his legal career as a clerk for a federal judge in Alabama. Later, he was an associate at the McGuireWoods law firm, where he focused on labor and employment litigation. He served as a federal prosecutor in Alabama before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta.


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