One of the big stories out of the latest indictment of Donald Trump was something curious that happened around noon Monday when Reuters reported that a document had been posted to the Fulton County Clerk of Court website showing numerous criminal charges open against Donald Trump although the grand jury was still hearing from witnesses and allegedly hadn’t voted yet.
The document was quickly taken down, and the Fulton County Clerk of Court claimed it was a “fictitious” document.
Late Monday night, District Attorney Fani Wilis announced that Trump and 18 others had been indicted and, guess what? The indictment contained the same charges that were on that fictitious document. When asked about the strange coincidence, Willis said:
“No, I can’t tell you anything about what you refer to. What I can tell you is that we had a grand jury here in Fulton County. They deliberated till almost 8 o’clock, if not right after 8 o’clock, an indictment was returned. It was true billed. And you now have an indictment.”
They must have figured out that people weren’t going to let it go, because Che Alexander, the Fulton County Clerk of Court, issued a long statement Tuesday detailing her version of events. Alexander claims that she was simply practicing in case the indictment did come through against numerous defendants because there could be tech issues and used a “fictitious docket sheet.” The second paragraph of the statement reads:
In anticipation of issues that arise with entering a potentially large indictment, Alexander used charges that pre-exist in Odyssey to test the system and conduct a trial run. Unfortunately, the sample working document led to the docketing of what appeared to be an indictment, but which was, in fact, only a fictitious docket sheet. Because the media has access to documents before they are published, and while it may have appeared that something official had occurred because the document bore a case number and filing date, it did not include a signed “true” or “no” bill nor an official stamp with Clerk Alexander’s name, thereby making the document unofficial and a test sample only.
So, what charges pre-exist in Odyssey to test the system? If using a fictitious docket sheet, why use Trump’s name? Why not “John Doe”? If the issue was a large indictment, why not multiple defendants with clearly false names and numerous charges that weren’t the ones potentially in an indictment? Why does the media have access to documents before they’re published? That seems odd.
Also, Fulton County is one of the largest jurisdictions in the country. Are we to believe that Alexander hasn’t had to process complex indictments in the past?
Hours later, after receiving the True Bill presented to presiding Judge, Robert McBurney, Clerk Alexander executed the filing with a file stamp and moments later she made the filing public.
Moments later? We waited for hours after the True Bill was signed by the presiding Judge for anything to be public. And once again, it was the crew at Reuters who seemed to have the information before everyone else.
The Office understands the confusion that this matter caused and the sensitivity of all court filings. We remain committed to operating with an extreme level of efficiency, accuracy, and transparency.
Media members can expect to be notified of any/all filings in real time and will be provided access to filings via equitable communication.
Equitable communication? This member of the media scoured Alexander’s site and couldn’t find any signup for notification of filings in real time and equitable communication.
There are still lots of questions for this clerk to answer.
The entire document can be read below.