By Janice Hisle and Dan M. Berger
ATLANTA—In a bizarre turn of events, Georgia briefly posted online—then removed—a two-page list of charges against former President Donald Trump on Aug. 14.
The posting (pdf) came amid reports that a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, was still hearing testimony from witnesses regarding the former president’s challenge of the 2020 election results and his attempts to remain in office after Democrat Joe Biden was declared the victor.
The apparently premature release of the expected charges touched off concerns about the accusations possibly being pre-determined before the grand jurors voted.
Reuters news service reported that the county’s website deleted the document from public view “without explanation,” and that the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said that no charges had been filed against President Trump. The Epoch Times is seeking comment from a spokesperson for District Attorney Fani Willis.
As news about the posted-and-deleted charges surfaced, reporters were gathered on two sides of the Fulton County Courthouse, awaiting confirmation of the grand jury’s activities, and keeping eyes peeled for grand jury witnesses to emerge.
Talk about the indictment being released today instead of Aug. 15 began swirling among reporters after the Reuters report. George Chidi, a journalist who was summoned to testify, said that his planned Aug. 15 testimony was rescheduled for a day earlier, Aug. 14.
“They’re moving faster than they thought,” Chidi wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Conservative commentator Jack Posobiec posted on the Truth Social platform that he was concerned about the Reuters report revealing that the charges seemingly had been decided before the grand jury finished voting. “This means the grand jury has been completely tainted,” he wrote. “How can they objectively vote on charges when they’ve already heard of the decision to charge?”
Within about 30 minutes of the Reuters story being posted, President Trump, without specifically referring to the Georgia document, posted on his Truth Social account: “I just hope Republicans, and the people of our now failing Nation, see what is happening to our Democracy and Freedom. A sitting President has INDICTED, in many different forms and locals, his political opponent, who is substantially leading him in the Polls. NOTHING LIKE THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED BEFORE. OUR COUNTRY CAN NEVER LET THIS STAND!”
List of Charges
If the charges are approved as stated in the document, President Trump would be accused of 13 offenses.
Based on count numbers listed in the document, at least 39 total charges would be filed in the planned indictment, but 26 missing counts apparently involve other defendants whose identities are not provided in the document Reuters obtained.
The first charge against President Trump lists racketeering in connection with an incident on Nov. 4, 2020–a day after the 2020 presidential election.
Six additional charges stem from actions allegedly taken on Dec. 6, 2020: conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer, and five counts of conspiracy to commit forgery or other false documents, statements, or writings.
Another charge alleges “solicitation of violation of oath by public officer” on Dec. 7, 2020.
The next reportedly alleged incident, involving filing false documents, relates to Dec. 31, 2020.
Two charges–solicitation of violation of oath by public officer and false statements and writings–are tied to the now-infamous phone call that then-President Trump had with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. During that call on Jan. 2, 2021, President Trump was disputing the election results and claimed that there were enough fraudulent votes to overcome his deficit of fewer than 12,000 votes.
Finally, two counts of those same charges stem from actions alleged to have occurred on Sept. 17, 2021.