The office of the clerk for the Fulton County, Ga., court system admitted to accidentally posting a “sample working document” related to former President Trump’s indictment hours before the grand jury completed its work.
The Tuesday statement came after the office blamed media outlets Monday for sharing what it called a “fictitious document.”
The docket sheet was first spotted and shared by Reuters, with reporters indicating Trump had been indicted.
It was quickly removed, however, and the clerk’s office later issued a statement saying it was a “fictitious document that has been circulated online and reported by various media outlets.”
The charges filed against Trump on Monday night, however, were exactly those first shared by the outlet.
In a Tuesday statement, the clerk’s office said it was running a test of the system “in anticipation of issues that arise with entering a potentially large indictment,” posting a “sample working document related to the former United States President, Donald Trump.”
“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,” the office said in the statement.
“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.”
Trump’s attorneys Drew Findling and Jennifer Little pounced on the brief release of the document, suggesting in a statement that the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has “no respect for the integrity of the grand jury process.”
“This was not a simple administrative mistake,” they said. “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. This is emblematic of the pervasive and glaring constitutional violations which have plagued this case from its very inception.”
The clerk’s office Tuesday said it “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,” the office added.