AG: Meadows won’t face voter fraud charges in North Carolina

RALEY, N.C. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, will not face a dispute with him in North Carolina, the state’s attorney general announced Friday. Voter Fraud Allegations Related to State 2020 Registration and Absentee Balloting.

Meadows, a former western North Carolina congressman who worked for Trump during his final months in the Oval Office, has been outspoken in support of the former president’s baseless claim that the 2020 presidential election is a Stolen from him. When details emerged that Meadows was registered to vote in North Carolina and two other states at the same time, it caught the attention of government lawyers.

Attorney General Josh Stein told The Associated Press based largely on the results of a voter fraud investigation completed by the National Bureau of Investigation that there was not enough evidence to charge Meadows or his wife, Debra.

“Our conclusion is that if a case like this was brought, we don’t think we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they engaged in willful voter fraud, and their arguments would help them,” Stein, a Democrat, said in an interview. .

Public records show that Meadows listed a mobile home in Scully Hills, N.C., when he registered to vote on Sept. 19, 2020, but he did not give it as his physical address, while still holding an office. Office director. Meadows cast an absentee ballot in North Carolina by mail for the November election, when Trump won the battleground state by just over 1 percentage point.

The New Yorker, which first reported on Meadows’ 2020 registration earlier this year, said the former owner told the magazine that Meadows’ wife rented the property short-term and only stayed there for a night or two.

Stein said his department’s career prosecutor advised against pursuing the charges. In a memo to Stein, the lawyers said there was evidence that Meadows and his wife had signed a one-year lease on the Scully Hill home offered by the landlord. Cell phone records show Debra Meadows was in and around Scaly Mountain in October 2020, the memo said, and her husband was eligible for a residence exception under state law because He did public service in Washington.

Election officials interpret state laws so that a person can register for “permanent residence” at least 30 days before an election. Fraudulently or falsely filling out a registration form is a minor felony.

Although Mark Meadows “almost certainly never physically appeared at the Scully Hill address,” the memo reads, “there are more factors in favor of living in Macon County than against it.”

An aide to Meadows did not immediately respond to a text message Friday seeking comment on Stein’s decision. Mark and Debra Meadows declined to be interviewed by SBI, the memo said.

Stein’s special counsel’s office at the Justice Department took over the investigation at the request of the Macon County district attorney, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Asheville. The district attorney recused herself because Meadows contributed to her campaign and appeared in political ads supporting her. The Special Prosecutor’s Office asked the SBI to investigate, and the agency completed preliminary work last month.

By April, the Macon County Board of Elections had removed Meadows from the local voter rolls.

Public records also show that Meadows registered to vote in Virginia in 2021 and South Carolina in March after he and his wife purchased homes there.

With polls showing Trump trailing President Joe Biden, Meadows is starting to raise public suspicion of widespread voter fraud leading up to the 2020 election. He repeated the baseless claims throughout the election cycle and after the campaign, as Trump insisted the election was rife with fraud.

Election officials from both parties, as well as judges and Trump’s own attorney general, have concluded there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Meadows was featured prominently in a U.S. House of Representatives committee examining the events leading up to the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. While urging federal prosecutors to “go after” those who conspired to “put our democracy at risk,” Stein said in a release that the matters were unrelated to the fraud allegations his office was reviewing.

Stein told The Associated Press that while his investigation is closed, the matter could be reopened if evidence from investigations in other jurisdictions is revealed.

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