Fulton County court website publishes, then takes down, list of criminal charges against Trump

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis began presenting her case against former President Donald Trump to a grand jury Monday.
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 2:18 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2023 at 5:38 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A list of criminal charges in Georgia against former President Donald Trump briefly appeared Monday on a Fulton County website, but prosecutors said Trump had not been indicted in a long-running investigation of the 2020 presidential election.

A Fulton County grand jury began hearing from witnesses Monday. Shortly after 12 p.m., Reuters reported on a list of several criminal charges to be brought against Trump, including state racketeering counts, conspiracy to commit false statements, and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer.

Reuters, which later published a copy of the document, said the filing was taken down quickly afterward. A spokesperson for Willis said the report of charges being filed was “inaccurate,” but declined to comment further.

The Office of the Fulton County Clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts said in a statement it was notified of a “fictitious document” related to the Fulton County grand jury that was being circulated online.

Drew Findling and Jennifer Little, Trump’s attorneys, said in a statement Monday that the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has “once again shown that they have no respect for the integrity of the grand jury process.” His attorneys also said the published document 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,” the statement said. “This is emblematic of the pervasive and glaring constitutional violations which have plagued this case from its very inception.”

Prosecutors were widely expected to present those counts to the grand jury. It was unclear why the charges were detailed in a filing while grand jurors were still hearing from witnesses.

For two and a half years, Willis has been investigating actions taken by Trump and others in their efforts to overturn his narrow loss in Georgia to Democrat Joe Biden. Barriers and street closures around the courthouse in downtown Atlanta, as well as statements made by Willis, had indicated that a presentation to a grand jury was likely to begin this week.

Former Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan, who had been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury, said as she left the Fulton County courthouse late Monday morning that she had been questioned for about 40 minutes. Former Democratic state Rep. Bee Nguyen also confirmed that she testified. News outlets reported that Gabriel Sterling, a top official in the secretary of state’s office, was seen arriving at the courthouse earlier Monday.

“No individual is above the law, and I will continue to fully cooperate with any legal proceedings seeking the truth and protecting our democracy,” Nguyen said in a statement.

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Nguyen and Jordan both attended legislative hearings in December 2020 during which former New York mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and others made false claims of widespread election fraud in Georgia. Trump lawyer John Eastman also appeared during at least one of those hearings and said the election had not been held in compliance with Georgia law and that lawmakers should appoint a new slate of electors.

Sterling and his boss, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — both Republicans — forcefully pushed back against allegations of widespread problems with Georgia’s election.

Trump famously called Raffensperger on Jan. 2, 2021, and suggested the state’s top elections official could help “find” the votes Trump needed to beat Biden. It was the release of a recording of that phone call that prompted Willis to open her investigation about a month later.