Fulton County Clerk says early release of Trump charges was an accident – LifeSite

FULTON COUNTY, Georgia (LifeSiteNews) — The Fulton County Clerk of Courts said Tuesday that the Monday release of a litany of charges against former U.S. President Donald Trump was a mistake. The comment comes after the Trump team argued that the release and almost immediate retraction of the document wasn’t a mere clerical error but evidence of “the pervasive and glaring constitutional violations which have plagued this case from its very inception.”

As LifeSiteNews previously reported, the Fulton County Court published and quickly retracted a document seemingly listing myriad charges against Trump on Monday morning. Dated August 14, the document included a case number and listed 12 felony charges, including “solicitation of violation of oath by public officer,” “conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree,” and racketeering. 

The abrupt appearance and disappearance of the charges before the grand jury had publicly finished its deliberations triggered a flurry of reactions online among conservative commentators and politicians, including Trump’s campaign.

In a press release later Monday, the court office said that it had “learned of a fictitious document that has been circulated online and reported by various media outlets.” The statement said there had “been no documents today regarding such,” and said that the list of charges did “not bear an official case number, filing date, and the name of The Clerk of the Courts, in concert.”

READ: Georgia court sparks outrage and confusion after posting and removing charges against Trump

On Tuesday, Fulton County Clerk of Courts Ché Alexander told local outlet WSB-TV that the publication of the document was a mistake. She said she accidentally hit “send” instead of “save” when she received the unofficial document, which she called a “dry-run” or a “work sample.”

“And that’s how the mishap happened,” she told the outlet. “I am human.”

When asked how she obtained the documents to begin with, Alexander said she has access to the documents through her position

According to WSB-TV’s reporting, the clerk had “wanted to get the documents to the public as soon as possible” but didn’t mean to publish the two-page document.

Asked why she called the document “fictitious” in a Monday statement, Alexander said “that was the best word I could come up with.”

“It was fictitious, it wasn’t real, it didn’t have a stamp on it,” she said. She said that the accidental release of the unofficial document didn’t influence the grand jury’s decision Monday night to bring its 41-count indictment against Trump and his allies, and said the incident was a matter of error, not intent.

“I have no dog in the fight,” she said, according to WSB-TV. “I tell my staff we just want to be transparent. I don’t have anything to hide.”

READ: Georgia grand jury indicts Trump, 18 allies on ‘racketeering’ charges

As LifeSiteNews previously reported, the Fulton County grand jury turned in its 98-page indictment late Monday night, charging Trump and 18 associates in connection with Trump’s alleged attempts to pressure Georgia officials into tilting the 2020 election results in his favor. His supporters have argued that that claim is inaccurate and that Trump simply sought to identify and toss out illegal ballots.

Prosecutors utilized a racketeering statute that the Associated Press noted is “normally associated with mobsters” to bring the charges.

In an official statement released late August 14, Trump’s campaign said the fourth and latest indictment is “un-American and wrong,” presenting “a grave threat to American democracy.”

Trump and his allies are expected to turn themselves in to authorities to face the “racketeering” charges on Friday, August 25.

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