The Georgia courthouse where grand jurors are currently mulling charges against former President Donald Trump weirdly posted what looked a whole helluva lot like an indictment to its website on Monday. However, the document was swiftly taken down and the court later told news outlets that no charges had yet been filed.
For context, a legal case has been brewing in Fulton County, Georgia, that could see serious charges brought against the former President. The case stems from allegations of criminal misconduct on the part of Trump and others as part of an effort to overturn the official results of the 2020 presidential election. A grand jury is currently hearing evidence provided by prosecutors and is expected to make a decision about whether to bring charges at some point this week.
However, an unexpected twist in this saga took place Monday when a document that listed numerous charges against Trump popped up on the court’s website. The document, which had all the markings of a docket entry, revealed myriad felony charges and characterized a case dubbed “The State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump” as being “open.” Reuters noticed the document and, naturally, took it to be evidence that charges had been brought. However, when the news org reached out to Fulton County officials for comment, reporters were told that their presumption was incorrect.
“The Reuters report that those charges were filed is inaccurate. Beyond that we cannot comment,” the Fulton County DA’s office cryptically told Reuters Monday. Even weirder, the county clerk’s office later released a statement referring to the document as “fictitious,” further confusing the matter.
In short: it’s sorta unclear what the heck happened here. The Associated Press interviewed a legal expert who has speculated that the document may have been a “clerical error” that showed the charges that prosecutors were “planning to ask the grand jury to vote on.” If that’s what happened, however, it’s not entirely clear why the court hasn’t explicitly cleared things up yet.
Trump’s potential case in Georgia isn’t the only thing he has to worry about. As he mounts his second run for the White House, the former President is facing unprecedented legal challenges in multiple states, the likes of which could derail his political ambitions.
In New York, the former President faces two separate criminal cases—one involving his alleged improper storage of national security documents, and the other his alleged “hush money” payments to porn star Stormy Daniels (with whom he is accused of having an affair). In Washington D.C., meanwhile, Trump faces a criminal case for his alleged role in the January 6th incident. In total, Trump is charged with over six dozen felonies. If Fulton County ultimately decides to charge him, Trump would face four separate criminal cases simultaneously. If convicted, he could be thrown in prison for decades. Trump was also recently found guilty in a civil suit involving sexual assault allegations.
However, experts contend that even if Trump is convicted and is sentenced to prison, he could still technically run for (and be elected) President. Some have also speculated that if that unheard of scenario actually comes to pass Trump would then also hypothetically be capable of pardoning himself. Trump has broken a lot of precedents (he was the first billionaire President, the first President to be impeached twice and also the first to be charged with criminal activity), so being the first President to serve while also being a convicted felon would seem pretty par for the course.