ATLANTA (LifeSiteNews) — The Fulton County district attorney’s office triggered outrage and confusion Monday after the Georgia court’s webpage posted a litany of charges apparently filed against former U.S. President Donald Trump — before quickly deleting the filing and claiming that a document circulating online pertaining to the case was “fictitious.” The incident comes as the district attorney is expected to bring official charges against Trump soon in what is set to be the embattled former president’s fourth indictment.
On Monday, the Fulton County Court published and quickly retracted a document seemingly listing myriad charges against Trump. Dated August 14, the document includes a case number and lists 12 felony charges, including “solicitation of violation of oath by public officer,” “conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree,” and racketeering.
Reuters reported on the appearance of the document Monday afternoon but quickly updated its story after the document was pulled “without explanation.” No official charges have been filed against Trump in the case as of this writing.
In a press release later Monday, the office of the Fulton County clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts said it had “learned of a fictitious document that has been circulated online and reported by various media outlets.”
The statement said there had “been no documents today regarding such,” and said that the list of charges did “not bear an official case number, filing date, and the name of The Clerk of the Courts, in concert.”
The Associated Press asked for further clarification since the document circulated online does appear to bear a case number but did not receive further information.
The abrupt appearance and disappearance of the charges — before the grand jury has even concluded its deliberations and, as Politico noted, just as Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis seems “to be on the verge of bringing criminal charges” against Trump in the case — triggered a flurry of reactions online among conservative commentators and politicians.
“Fulton County just posted the results of the grand jury vote before the grand jury voted,” said conservative podcaster Jack Posobiec, senior editor of Human Events.
“How is this not a due process violation?” posted Republican U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio.
They published the indictment before the grand jury voted. How is this not a due process violation? https://t.co/4AMPzYxQEc
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) August 14, 2023
In defense of the court, some have claimed that the publication of the document was a “clerical error,” and that the document was merely a list of possible charges that prosecutors were intending to present to jurors.
In a scathing statement Monday afternoon, however, Trump’s legal team excoriated that claim and argued that the handling of the document shows the district attorney’s office “have no respect for the integrity of the grand jury process.”
“This was not a simple administrative mistake,” attorneys Drew Findling and Jennifer Little said in a statement. “A proposed indictment should only be in the hands of the District Attorney’s Office, yet it somehow made its way to the clerk’s office and was assigned a case number and a judge before the grand jury even deliberated.”
“This is emblematic of the pervasive and glaring constitutional violations which have plagued this case from its very inception,” the statement read.
🚨BREAKING: Trump attorneys release statement SHREDDING Fulton County for releasing Trump indictment before Grand Jury even voted:
“This was not a simple administrative mistake.” pic.twitter.com/VRJsdLQL8M
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 14, 2023
An email sent out by Trump to his supporters also argued that the district attorney’s office is “trying to rob me of my right to due process.”
“The Grand Jury testimony has not even FINISHED – but it’s clear the District Attorney has already decided how this case will end,” the email read, according to the AP. “This is an absolute DISGRACE.”
It’s unclear what charges, if any, will be officially filed against Trump in the Georgia case, which stems from Trump’s phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger after the 2020 election. In the call, Trump asked Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to tip him over the edge to win Georgia.
Opponents have argued the president was calling on the secretary of state to fabricate the votes, but Trump and his team have argued that there were a large number of illegal ballots that, if tossed out, would show that Trump had actually won the contest.
If Trump is indicted in Georgia, it will be the fourth indictment lodged against the former president, who is also the leading Republican candidate for the presidency in 2024.