North Carolina won’t charge Mark Meadows for voter fraud

North Carolina won't charge Mark Meadows for voter fraud

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and his wife, Debra, will not be charged over allegations of voter fraud in connection with the 2020 election, authorities in the couple’s home state of North Carolina announced Friday.

The Meadowses were under investigation for potential improper voting in Macon County by using the address of a single-wide mobile home in which Mark Meadows allegedly never set foot.

However, as a federal government employee at the time, Meadows was found to be exempt from state residency requirements and investigators were able to establish that his wife and children were physically present at the Macon County single-wide for at least some time during their lease. 

“Prosecution of this matter could have a chilling effect on both public service and on voting,” North Carolina criminal investigators Leslie Cooley Dismukes and Boz Zellinger wrote in a memo to the Tar Heel State’s attorney general explaining their decision not to pursue the case.

Investigators found that the couple had signed a one-year-lease at the Scaly Mountain, residence that “exceeded the 30-day residency requirement for purposes of voting in the Nov. 3, 2020, election.”

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced Friday that the Meadowses will not be charged.
Andrew Harnik/AP

Furthermore, Dismukes and Zellinger wrote: “Mrs. Meadows was physically present at the Scaly Mountain residence during the relevant time period. Witness statements place Mrs. Meadows and her children at the residence in October of 2020. Additionally, cell phone records for Mrs. Meadows show her use of cell towers in the vicinity of Scaly Mountain on Oct. 25 and 26, 2020.”

The couple were also found to have filed taxes in North Carolina, kept their state driver’s licenses, and abandoned their previous home in Transylvania County — all points the state found to be “factors weighing in favor of residence in Macon County.”

“Perhaps the most important factor is the existence of the lease for the Scaly Mountain address, which was signed on Sept. 21, 2020,” the investigators wrote, finding that the couple signed their voter registration forms just two days prior to the beginning of the lease.

“The law makes no distinction between renting and owning when it comes to a determination of residence. The voter registration form was signed on Sept. 19, 2020, indicating that Mr. and Mrs. Meadows were moving to the residence in Scaly Mountain on Sept. 20, 2020, the next day.

“The form was submitted to the local board of elections on Sept. 21, 2020. The absentee ballot request form signed on Oct. 1, 2020, also gives the Scaly Mountain address with a move-in date of Sept. 20, 2020,” the memo notes.

U.S. President Donald Trump departs with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows from the White House to travel to North Carolina for an election rally, in Washington, U.S., October 21, 2020.
Then-President Donald Trump departs with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows from the White House to travel to North Carolina for an election rally on Oct. 21, 2020.

“Perhaps most significantly, Mr. Meadows is excepted from many of the requirements for traditional voters because of his status as a public servant,” the investigators added.

Meadows has come under legal and ethical scrutiny for his actions advising then-President Donald Trump following his defeat in the 2020 presidential election and prior to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

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