The Georgia court where a grand jury is weighing possible charges against Donald Trump for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election criticized a “fictitious document” circulating online, hours after the district attorney’s office called reports of an indictment false.
(Bloomberg) — The Georgia court where a grand jury is weighing possible charges against Donald Trump for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election criticized a “fictitious document” circulating online, hours after the district attorney’s office called reports of an indictment false.
The former president hasn’t been charged in Georgia, where a grand jury on Monday began hearing a case presented by the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. The vote on an indictment could come at any time — but it hasn’t yet.
“While there have been no documents filed today regarding such, all members of the media should be reminded that 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 Fulton County Clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts said in a statement.
Confusion reigned briefly at the courthouse after Reuters reported that Georgia had filed its long-awaited legal action against Trump, citing a two-page court document that was widely shared on social media. The news outlet later updated the story to say a document outlining “potential Trump charges” had been posted to the court’s website and then quickly taken down. The story sent reporters at other news outlets scrambling to find the purported document, with some running outside to meet with TV crews.
“The Reuters report that charges were filed was inaccurate,” a spokesman for Willis said in an emailed statement. “Beyond that we cannot comment.”
The statement from the clerk’s office didn’t mention Trump or the case by name. It was unclear whether the courthouse was suggesting the document was faked or if it had accidentally been posted. Either way, the document was not the indictment.
“As the official custodian of various county records, the Clerk of Courts understands the sensitivity of all court filings, especially those that are at the forefront of the national spotlight and remains committed to operating with an extreme level of efficiency, accuracy, and transparency,” the clerk’s office said.
The document in question purported to outline charges against Trump, who has denied wrongdoing in the state and claims Willis’s probe is politically motivated.
Trump’s lawyers blasted the district attorney’s office, saying the incident “has once again shown that they have no respect for the integrity of the grand jury process.”
According to a statement from attorneys Drew Findling, Jennifer Little and Marissa Goldberg, “This was not a simple administrative mistake. 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.”
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