Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office is facing backlash, including legal questions, after publishing a document outlining charges against former President Donald Trump before the grand jury had even voted on the matter.
The Fulton County DA’s office published the document on Monday, which lists 13 charges against Trump — 12 of which are felonies, including one that is listed as a “serious felony,” according to Reuters.
The charges listed include violations of the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, filing false documents and conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer — all of which are related to supposed attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.
The document was available on the website briefly before being deleted without explanation.
BANANA REPUBLIC: The Atlanta-area DA accidentally published the indictment against President Trump PRIOR to convening the Grand Jury. The fix is in. This isn't about justice, it is about election interference. pic.twitter.com/j5gk9Madfq
— @amuse (@amuse) August 14, 2023
Critics are arguing that Willis’ decision to publish the document before Trump had even been indicted by the grand jury was a violation of the former president’s due process rights.
One such critic is Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy — who has offered to write an amicus brief if Trump chooses to file a lawsuit to dismiss the charges.
“Here we go again: another disastrous Trump indictment,” Ramaswamy tweeted. “It’s downright pathetic that Fulton County publicly posted the indictment on its website even before the grand jury had finished convening. Since the four prosecutions against Trump are using novel & untested legal theories, it’s fair game for him to do the same in defense: immediately file a motion to dismiss for a constitutional due process violation for publicly issuing an indictment before the grand jury had actually signed one. He should make a strong argument on these grounds & it would send a powerful message to the ever-expansive prosecutorial police state.”
“As someone who’s running for President against Trump, I’d volunteer to write the amicus brief to the court myself: prosecutors should not be deciding U.S. presidential elections, and if they’re so overzealous that they commit constitutional violations, then the cases should be thrown out & they should be held accountable,” he added.
Here we go again: another disastrous Trump indictment. It’s downright pathetic that Fulton County publicly posted the indictment on its website even before the grand jury had finished convening. Since the four prosecutions against Trump are using novel & untested legal theories,… pic.twitter.com/LOYkGcCgm5
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) August 14, 2023
Trump’s attorneys have also responded to the DA’s leak, arguing in a statement to Newsmax that it shows “that they have no respect for the integrity of the grand jury process.”
“This was not a simple administrative mistake,” the statement read. “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 statement continued.