By Janice Hisle
Former President Donald Trump promises to unveil a “conclusive” report proving election fraud in Georgia.
He is announcing the report as a counter-strike against an hours-old indictment accusing him of conspiring with 18 others to make false claims about the 2020 election being stolen or “rigged.”
On the morning of Aug. 15, President Trump stated on Truth Social that he would hold a “major news conference” at 11 a.m. on Aug. 21, in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he owns a golf course.
The nearly-complete report is “large, complex, detailed” and “irrefutable,” he said.
“Based on the results of this conclusive report, all charges should be dropped against me and others—There will be a complete exoneration!” President Trump wrote.
“They never went after those that rigged the election. They only went after those that fought to find the riggers!”
President Trump’s attorneys also issued a pair of statements decrying the indictment in the hours after it was released.
In their latest statement, sent in the wee hours of Aug. 15, attorneys Drew Findling, Jennifer Little, and Marissa Goldberg called the events of Aug. 14 “shocking and absurd.”
The day began with “the leak of a presumed and premature indictment before the witnesses had testified or the grand jurors had deliberated,” the lawyers said.
Afterward, Fulton County District Attorney (DA) Fani Willis, who brought the charges, was “unable to offer any explanation.”
During a brief news conference that ended just before midnight on Aug. 14, Ms. Willis read aloud the indictment and fielded a few questions from news reporters.
One of the press inquiries focused on a list of charges posted earlier on a court website, as reported by Reuters news agency.
The agency reported that it captured images of the two-page docketed charges but then officials removed the document from public view; a time stamp on the document shows 12:39 p.m.
It was unclear whether that was generated when Reuters accessed the document or when officials posted it.
Later in the day, the clerk of courts issued a statement, discouraging people from relying on the “fictitious” document that was “circulating” in news reports.
But when authorities revealed the indictment naming President Trump around 9 p.m., the 13 charges corresponded exactly with those listed on the earlier-posted document.
Ms. Willis said she was unable to answer questions about how that happened.
President Trump and his reporters cried foul. They said the early release of charges, prior to a grand jury vote, should constitute a violation of his due-process rights.
Both before and after the indictment release, The Epoch Times sent emails to the clerk’s spokesman. He responded with a copy of the indictment late on Aug. 14 but, as of press time, had provided no answer to specific questions posed in messages sent on Aug. 14 and Aug. 15.
President Trump’s lawyers characterized the early posting of the charges as a “major fumble.” They allege that Ms. Willis’ office “clearly decided to force through and rush this 98-page indictment” as a result.
“This one-sided grand jury presentation relied on witnesses who harbor their own personal and political interests—some of whom ran campaigns touting their efforts against the accused and/or profited from book deals and employment opportunities as a result,” the defense attorneys’ statement said.
“We look forward to a detailed review of this indictment which is undoubtedly just as flawed and unconstitutional as this entire process has been.”
Shortly after the indictment release, the former president posted on Truth Social that an “out-of-control and very corrupt” district attorney spearheaded the case. He also alleged that Ms. Willis “campaigned and raised money” on the promise, “I will get Trump.”
“And what about those indictment documents put out today, long before the Grand Jury even voted, and then quickly withdrawn? Sounds rigged to me!” he wrote. “Why didn’t they indict 2.5 years ago? Because they wanted to do it right in the middle of my political campaign. Witch hunt!”
Key Dates On Horizon
Meanwhile, the date of the former president’s news conference falls four days before a deadline for all 19 defendants, including President Trump, to surrender to authorities on the indicted charges in Georgia.
Ms. Willis said the defendants must show up by noon on Aug. 25, to avoid arrest.
Another date looms large on next week’s calendar for President Trump and other Republican presidential hopefuls: Wednesday, Aug. 23, when the first GOP candidates debate is to be held in Milwaukee.
At last check, President Trump stated that he had no intention of signing a “loyalty pledge” to support the Republican Party’s eventual nominee; failure to do so disqualifies a candidate from participating in the nationally televised debate.
However, in a half-joking, half-serious manner, the former president “polled” a pair of recent audiences, asking them to shout whether he should subject himself to attacks on the debate stage.
The resounding response from audiences in both Iowa and Pennsylvania was “no.”