The clerk of the Fulton County Superior Court is claiming that an indictment of former President Donald Trump, released on Monday afternoon before the grand jury voted to indict him, was erroneously released as part of a test run, according to a press release from the office.
On Monday afternoon, the court’s website briefly posted a document listing 13 charges against Trump, which was first reported by Reuters and was quickly removed from the website. On Tuesday, following the official submission and unsealing of the indictment against Trump and 18 co-defendants, the clerk of the court released a statement claiming that the initial document had been released as part of a trial run to test the system before a large document was released. (RELATED: Trump Indictment Charges Match Document That Fulton County Called ‘Fictitious’)
“In anticipation of issues that arise with entering a potentially large indictment, County Courts Clerk Ché Alexander used charges that pre-exist in Odyssey to test the system and conduct a trial run. 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 press release said.
The release of the document on Monday afternoon prompted significant confusion about the timeline of proceedings, given that the grand jury had not completed its deliberations at that time. “They deliberated till almost 8:00 [and], if not right after 8:00, an indictment was returned,” said District Attorney Fani Willis at a press conference after the indictment was unsealed, according to Fox News.
Following initial press reports about the document’s release, the clerk’s office issued a strongly-worded statement on Monday that it was “fictitious … documents that do not bear an official case number, filing date, and the name of The Clerk of Courts, in concert, are not considered official filings and should not be treated as such.” The final indictment, containing the same details, was posted by the clerk on Monday night.
In its Tuesday press release, the clerk’s office added that because the document “did not include a signed ‘true’ or ‘no’ bill nor an official stamp with Clerk Alexander’s name, the document [was] unofficial and a test sample only … The Office understands the confusion that this matter caused and the sensitivity of all court filings,” according to the press release.
The charges listed on the initial document matched those on the final indictment issued by the grand jury. One of Trump’s lawyers, Marissa Goldberg, said that “[t]his is emblematic of the pervasive and glaring constitutional violations which have plagued this case from its very inception,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In a statement shared by Trump on TruthSocial, his campaign called Willis a “rabid partisan who is campaigning on a platform of prosecuting President Trump through these bogus indictments … They could have brought this two and a half years ago, yet they chose to do this for election interference reasons in the middle of President Trump’s successful campaign.” Trump himself criticized the indictment on TruthSocial, calling Willis “out of control and very corrupt.”
The Fulton County District Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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