Make your home page

North Carolina officials will not charge Mark Meadows with voter fraud

NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND - FEBRUARY 28: U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) speaks during CPAC 2019 February 28, 2019 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosts the annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(CNN) — The North Carolina Department of Justice announced Friday that there was “not sufficient evidence” to bring charges against against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and his wife, Debra Meadows, over allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

“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,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, said in a statement. “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 investigation began after The New Yorker magazine reported that Mark Meadows, a former Republican congressman from North Carolina, registered to vote weeks before the 2020 election at a mobile home in Macon County where he had allegedly never lived or even visited. The article quoted the unnamed former owner of the McConnell Road property in Scaly Mountain as saying that Meadows had never visited or “spent a night in there” and that his wife “reserved the house for two months at some point within the past few years — she couldn’t remember exactly when — but only spent one or two nights there.”

North Carolina voter records show Meadows registered at the Scaly Mountain address on September 22, 2020. He voted absentee by mail in the 2020 general election. He was removed from the North Carolina voter rolls in April after it was determined Meadows was simultaneously registered to vote in three states.

According to Friday’s release from the North Carolina attorney general’s office, the main reasons behind the decision not to charge the Meadows were: (1) He was engaged in public service in Washington, DC, and therefore qualified for a residency exception under state law; (2) the Meadows signed a yearlong lease for the Scaly Mountain residence that was provided by their landlord; and (3) cell phone records showed Debra Meadows was in and around Scaly Mountain in October 2020.

Meadows left Congress in March 2020 to serve as White House chief of staff under President Donald Trump, holding the position until Trump left office the following January. Recent releases of transcripts by the House January 6 committee have included several revelations related to Meadows by his onetime aide Cassidy Hutchinson. They include revelations that he regularly burned documents during the presidential transition period and occasionally told staffers to keep some Oval Office meetings “close hold” and potentially omitted from official records.