Mark Meadows, once White House chief of staff to former President Trump, will not face voter fraud charges related to his 2020 registration and absentee vote in North Carolina, according to the state’s attorney general.
‘The State Bureau of Investigation conducted an extensive investigation into the fraud allegations against Mr. and Mrs. Meadows concerning their registration and voting in the 2020 elections,’ Attorney General Josh Stein said in a Friday news release. ‘After a thorough review, my office has concluded that there is not sufficient evidence to bring charges against either of them in this matter.’
‘Our conclusion was … they had arguments that would help them if a case was brought such that we didn’t believe we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they had engaged in intentional voter fraud,’ Stein, a Democrat, told The Associated Press on the same day.
The conclusions were reportedly based largely on the findings of a voter fraud investigation completed by the State Bureau of Investigation.
Meadows, a Republican, initially drew the attention of government attorneys when details that he was simultaneously registered to vote in North Carolina and two other states surfaced.
According to public records, Meadows listed a mobile home – which he did not own – in Scaly Mountain as his physical address when he registered to vote in Sept. 2020.
He cast an absentee ballot by mail for the November general election.
The New Yorker magazine first reported that the previous property owner said Meadows’ wife had rented the property and spent only one or two nights there.
Election officials interpret state law so that a person can register at a ‘permanent place of abode’ in a period of at least 30 days before an election.
Notably, filling out a registration form fraudulently or falsely is a low-grade felony.
In a memo to Stein, prosecutors – who recommended that charges not be pursued – within his department said evidence showed Meadows and his wife had signed a yearlong lease for the Scaly Mountain residence that was provided by their landlord.
Phone records indicated Debra Meadows was in and around Scaly Mountain in Oct. 2020, and her husband qualified for a residency exception in state law because he was in public service in Washington, D.C.
Although Mark Meadows ‘was almost certainly never physically present at the Scaly Mountain address,’ the memo reads, ‘the factors weighing in favor of residence in Macon County outnumber the factors weighing against residence.’
Public records also indicated that Meadows was registered to vote in Virginia in 2021 and in South Carolina in March 2022, after he and his wife purchased a home there.
The memo said Mark and Debra Meadows had declined to be interviewed by the State Bureau of Investigation.
Ben Williamson, a spokesperson for Mark Meadows, said in a message to the news agency that he had no comment on Stein’s decision.
Meadows had repeated unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud before and after the 2020 general election.
Election officials from both parties, in addition to judges and Trump’s own attorney general, concluded there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
‘None of the matters involving January 6th, however, are relevant to the specific allegations of voter fraud concerning Mr. and Mrs. Meadows that were referred to my office for review,’ Stein said in a statement. ‘My office has concluded that there is not sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt against either Mr. or Mrs. Meadows, so my office will not prosecute this case. If further information relevant to the allegations of voter fraud comes to light in any subsequent investigation or prosecution by authorities in other jurisdictions, we reserve the right to reopen this matter.’
The Associated Press contributed to this report.