FULTON COUNTY - The Fulton County Clerk of Courts is providing more information about how it published a document on Monday afternoon that listed the charges against former President Donald Trump before he was officially indicted Monday evening.
The statement was released after the clerk's office blamed the media on Monday for sharing what it is calling a "fictitious docket sheet."
According to Fulton County Clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts Ché Alexander, the clerk's office was conducting a "trial run" to "test the system" in anticipation of possible issues that could arise when entering a potentially large indictment. The publication of the "sample working document led to the docketing of what appeared to be an indictment," but was a "fictitious" docket sheet.
Publication of the document was noticed by Reuters and caused confusion among members of the media as it began to circulate online. Alexander immediately removed the document and notified the media that it was fictitious and no indictment had been returned by the grand jury.
In the Fulton County clerk's statement, Alexander explains that the media has access to documents before they are published and while it may have appeared that something official occurred, it did not include a signed "true" or "no" bill and it did not have an official stamp with Alexander's name.
According to the statement, "The Office understands the confusion 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 ends by saying, "Media members can expect to be notified of any/all filings in real time and will be provided access to filings via equitable communication."
Trump's attorney suggested in a statement about the "accidental" release that the Fulton County District Attorney's Office has "no respect for the integrity of the grand jury process."
Former President Donald Trump and 18 others were indicted Monday night related to a scheme to change the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
Each of the defendants has been charged with Violation of the Georgia RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act and various other charges depending on their roles.
The complete list of those indicted include Donald Trump, Rudolph Giuliani, John Eastman, Mark Meadows, Kenneth Chesebro, Jeffrey Clark, Jenn Lynn Ellis, Ray Stallings Smith III, Robert Cheeley, Michael Roman, David Shafer, Shawn Micah Tresher Still, Stephen Cliffgard Lee, Harrison William Prescott Floyd, Trvian C. Kutti, Sidney Powell, Cathleen "Cathy" Latham, Scott Grahama Hall, and Misty Hampton (Emily Misty Hayes).
This is the 4th criminal indictment against Trump since he announced his plans to run for president again in 2024. The Georgia case is considered the most serious of the cases, especially since Trump, if elected president once again, will be unable to pardon himself. The case is also complex because of the RICO charge.
Trump and his co-defendants have been given until noon Aug. 25 to turn themselves in to Fulton County.