According to Georgia court officials, a document detailing charges against former President Donald Trump that was released hours before his official indictment was a “fictitious document” and a “sample” that was posted online as a “test.”
On Monday, hours before a grand jury in Fulton County indicted Trump, a document delineating 13 charges against the former president was posted. Trump was eventually indicted on eleven offenses.
Drew Findling and Jennifer Little, attorneys for the Trump campaign, described the incident as emblematic of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a statement.
“The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has once again shown that they have no respect for the integrity of the grand jury process,” the statement said, according to The Hill. “This was not a simple administrative mistake.”
“This is emblematic of the pervasive and glaring constitutional violations which have plagued this case from its very inception,” the statement said.
According to a statement issued by the court and ascribed to the Office of the Fulton County Clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts, the document that was widely circulated in the media and on social media was a “sample working document.”
“In anticipation of issues that arise with entering a potentially large indictment, Alexander used charges that pre-exist in Odyssey to test the system and conduct a trial run,” the statement said, referring to Fulton County Clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts, Ché Alexander.
“Unfortunately, the sample working document led to the docketing of what appeared to be an indictment, but which was, in fact, only a fictitious docket sheet,” the statement said, adding that Alexander had the document removed and — hours before the actual indictment was handed up — said no indictment had been issued.
Here we go again: another disastrous Trump indictment. It’s downright pathetic that Fulton County publicly posted the indictment on its website even before the grand jury had finished convening. Since the four prosecutions against Trump are using novel & untested legal theories,… pic.twitter.com/LOYkGcCgm5
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) August 14, 2023
“Because the media has access to documents before they are published, and while it may have appeared that something official had occurred because the document bore a case number and filing date, it did not include a signed ‘true’ or ‘no’ bill nor an official stamp with Clerk Alexander’s name, thereby making the document unofficial and a test sample only,” the statement said.
The Hill, however, noted that the “sample working indictment” contained charges that were included in the actual indictment.
“The Office understands the confusion that this matter caused and the sensitivity of all court filings. We remain committed to operating with an extreme level of efficiency, accuracy, and transparency,” the statement said.
Note the plethora of conspiracy charges, with some RICO tossed in. Real lawyers know that just about nothing is a provable RICO in front of a fair court. Woke prosecutors are increasingly criminalizing speech in America, and this threatens all of us. https://t.co/UMpgSBcAXm
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) August 14, 2023
When Willis was asked about the initial document Monday, she replied, “No, I can’t tell you anything about what you refer to,” according to Fox News.
“What I can tell you is that we had a grand jury here in Fulton County. They deliberated till almost 8 o’clock, if not right after 8 o’clock, an indictment was returned. It was true billed. And you now have an indictment,” she said.
Trump had his own blistering reaction to the “sample” document’s release.
“The Grand Jury testimony has not even FINISHED — but it’s clear the District Attorney has already decided how this case will end,” Trump wrote in a fund-raising email, according to The Associated Press. “They are trying to rob me of my right to due process. This is an absolute DISGRACE.”