RIGGED: Trump’s charges appeared briefly on Fulton County website way before grand jury officially announced indictment
08/17/2023 // Belle Carter // Views

The Fulton County official website posted a long list of criminal charges against former President Donald Trump on Monday, including state racketeering counts, conspiracy to commit false statements, and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer. But it was quickly taken down because it was published even before the grand jury officially returned the indictments.

The jury just began hearing from more witnesses Monday but shortly after noon of the same day, Reuters reported on the list of several criminal charges to be brought against Trump. It was removed quickly from the Georgia county site because according to Fulton County District Attorney (DA) Fani Willis, the charges being filed were "inaccurate." The DA representative declined to comment further.

A document posted and then taken down from the Fulton County, Georgia court website shows potential charges against former...

Photo credits: Julio-Cesar Chavez/Reuters

According to the news outlet, the document was dated Aug. 14 and named Trump, citing the case as "open," but is no longer available on the court's website as of press time. The media portal was not immediately able to determine why the item was posted or removed.

The county courts clerk Che Alexander's office called the posted document "fictitious." However, the office also failed to reason out how it got on the court’s website. It said that the list came out with no official case numbers. Thus, it was not considered official filings and should not be treated as such. But the document that appeared online did have a case number on it. The Associated Press saw that there was actually an assigned number on the document. Alexander declined to comment when the news outlet inquired.

Meanwhile, "experts" think that this is just a "minor booboo" as prosecutors may have already drafted indictments that they would present to the grand jury, which ultimately decides whether to hand charges down and this is what was posted on the site. "I think this tells us what they are planning to present to the grand jury, and the grand jury could say no," said Georgia State University law professor Clark Cunningham. He also said while the error will give Trump's legal team fodder to complain, it likely won't ultimately impact the case.

And indeed, Trump quickly reacted to the "major error," further citing how the investigations are clearly politically motivated and possibly rigged. "The Grand Jury testimony has not even FINISHED but it is clear the District Attorney has already decided how this case will end," the former president wrote in the email. "They are trying to rob me of my right to due process. This is an absolute DISGRACE."

The Republican presidential candidate's legal team said this could not be a simple administrative mistake. "It showed that the prosecutors' office had no respect for the integrity of the grand jury process," Trump's campaign group lamented. "This is emblematic of the pervasive and glaring constitutional violations which have plagued this case from its very inception," Trump lawyers Drew Findling, Jennifer Little and Marissa Goldberg said.

Witness: Jury hearing moved faster than expected

It was not confirmed whether the list came out while the jurors were still in the middle of hearing from the witnesses in the investigation of actions taken by Trump to overturn his narrow loss in Georgia to Democrat Joe Biden. It was also unclear if the grand jury was even aware the filing was posted online.

Independent journalist George Chidi had tweeted previously that he was asked to testify on Tuesday, but later posted he was going to court on Monday, adding: "They're moving faster than they thought." The reporter wrote in the Intercept last month that he barged "into a semi-clandestine meeting of Republicans pretending to be Georgia’s official electors in December 2020." He recalled being thrown out of the room just after entering, told that it was an "education meeting."

When the Georgia grand jury eventually issued the sprawling 98-page indictment, it listed 19 defendants and 41 criminal counts in all. The defendants were charged with racketeering, which is used to target members of organized crime groups and carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Apart from Trump, Mark Meadows, Trump's former White House chief of staff, and lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman were included in the "accused."

"Trump and the other defendants charged in this indictment refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump," the indictment stated.

The case was linked to a Jan. 2, 2021 phone call in which the former POTUS urged Georgia's top election official Brad Raffensperger to "find" enough votes to reverse his narrow loss in the state. Raffensperger declined to do so. His supporters then gathered at the U.S. Capitol four days later in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent lawmakers from certifying Biden's victory.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and accused elected Democrat Willis of being politically motivated. He has already pleaded not guilty in three criminal cases. (Related: The Trump indictment criminalizes political dissent.)

Read more updates on the ongoing legal battles former President Donald Trump is facing at Trump.news.

Sources for this article include:




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