Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is being investigated for alleged voter fraud, according to the North Carolina attorney general’s office.
Meadows, who helped spread the voter fraud allegations repeatedly debunked by former President Donald Trump, may have committed voter fraud himself in the 2020 election, The New Yorker reported earlier this month. -this. Trump’s former top aide and his wife, Debbie, registered to vote in what was called a “diving trailer” in a remote rural area. Meadows does not appear to have spent a single night there, according to the report. Local press briefing WRAL later reported that Meadows and his wife voted by mail in North Carolina in 2020, prompting a state investigation.
State Attorney General Josh Stein’s office asked the state Bureau of Investigation to “investigate alongside the state Board of Elections,” spokeswoman Nazneen Ahmed said. WRAL Thursday. “At the end of their investigation, we will review their findings.”
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Macon County District Attorney Ashley Welch requested the investigation.
“I direct the Attorney General’s office to manage both law enforcement advice regarding any criminal investigation as well as any potential prosecution of Mark Meadows,” she said in a letter to the office. AG, according to the report, adding that the state’s attorney general typically handles “prosecutions involving alleged misconduct by government officials.”
Welch said she was “not aware of any allegations of voter fraud surrounding Mark Meadows” until she was “contacted by the media”. She noted that Meadows contributed to her 2014 campaign and appeared in her campaign ads.
“It is in the interests of justice and the people of North Carolina that the Attorney General’s office pursue the prosecution of this case,” Welch wrote.
Meadows listed the address of the Scally Mountain mobile home in a voter registration field that asks for the residential address “where you physically live,” according to reports. Mark and Debbie Meadows sold their former home in North Carolina when Meadows joined the Trump administration. Meadows is also registered to vote in Virginia, where the couple own a condo, according to The New York Times. Meadows, the former chairman of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, represented North Carolina in Congress from 2013 to 2020 and was considered a potential Senate candidate before ultimately declining to run.
The mobile home’s former owner told WRAL they rented the property from Meadows’ family, but said the former Trump aide ‘never spent a night there’ and the wife from Meadows had only stayed a night or two.
Melanie Thibault, the director of the Macon County Board of Elections, told The New Yorker she was “astounded” that Meadows listed the address on her voter registration form.
“I looked up this Mcconnell Road, which is in Scaly Mountain, and found it was a dive trailer in the middle of nowhere, in which I don’t see him or his wife. stay,” she said.
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Under state law, a person cannot list a temporary residence as a residential address unless they intend to make the property a “permanent place of residence.” In election law, the term “residence” refers to a person’s “domicile”, or the place where they actually live most or all of the time.
The Supreme Court in 1972 ruled that “residence simply indicates a person’s actual place of residence, whether permanent or temporary. Domicile means a person’s permanent and established domicile, as opposed to a temporary, albeit real, place of residence.”
State law allows a person to claim an address as their residence if they are temporarily living elsewhere but intend to return. The New Yorker and WRAL both reported that ownership of the trailer has since been sold to another owner and the Meadows remains registered at the address. Last year, they also bought a $1.6 million home in South Carolina.
The state’s voter registration form warns it is a Class I felony to ‘fraudulently or falsely’ complete the form, which could result in a prison sentence of up to a year , according to WRAL.
Meadows has repeatedly pushed Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Ahead of the election, Meadows raised concerns about inaccurate addresses on voter rolls.
“I don’t want my vote or anyone else’s vote disenfranchised. … Do you realize how inaccurate the voters rolls are, with people just walking around?” he told CNN in August 2020. “Every time you move, you change your driver’s license, but you don’t call and say, ‘Hey, by the way, I’m re-registering. “”
After Trump’s defeat, Meadows pressed the Ministry of Justice to investigate the former president’s conspiracy theories. Meadows was also on the infamous phone call in which Trump pushed Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to reverse his loss in the state. In December, the House voted to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress after it refused to cooperate with the House’s investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.
Bobbie Richardson, chairwoman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, told the Associated Press that Meadows’ “hypocrisy of helping to spread false allegations of voter fraud in 2020 in an attempt to nullify the election” combined with his voter registration information was “unprecedented.”
The Washington Post editorial board skewered Meadows last week, calling him out for exposing “Republicans’ hypocrisy on voter fraud.”
“Over the past year, the Republican Party has gone to great lengths to restrict absentee voting in state legislatures, saying mail-in ballots allow nefarious actors to influence elections” , the council wrote. “This has always been misdirection; fraudulent behavior is extremely rare and election audits have repeatedly shown that the few cases that do occur do not affect elections. Will Republicans now report one of their own for engaging in such activity?”