Mark Meadows, who previously served as chief of staff to former President Donald Trump and as a congressman for North Carolina, is being investigated by officials from that state over allegations that he may have committed voter fraud.
Meadows was an ardent proponent of the erroneous election fraud claims peddled by Trump and other administration officials following the former president’s loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. He was one of several Trump loyalists in the White House to press the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate such claims.
Unlike the election fraud claims, however, the allegations being made against Meadows hold some weight to them.
From September 2020 onward, Meadows and his wife have been registered to vote using the address of a mobile home in Macon County, North Carolina. But the person who owns that property says that Meadows has “never spent a night down there,” and that he’s never even seen Meadows visit the property.
Earlier this month, The New Yorker was the first to report that Meadows was registered to vote using an address where he’s never lived. According to their findings, Meadows and his wife live at a property they own in Virginia, though they are not registered to vote in that state.
As a result of that report, the North Carolina Attorney General’s office has requested that the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI), alongside the State Board of Elections, investigate the matter.
“We have asked the SBI to investigate and at the conclusion of the investigation, we’ll review their findings,” said Nazneen Ahmed, a spokesperson for state Attorney General Josh Stein (D).
Stein’s order was based on a separate request from Ashley Hornsby Welch, the district attorney for the prosecutorial district of Macon County. In a letter to the attorney general’s office, Welch showcased how Meadows contributed to her campaign in 2014, adding that he had appeared in many of her political advertisements for past elections.
Because of her connections to Meadows, Welch, who is a Republican, said that “it is in the best interest of justice and the best interest of the people of North Carolina that the Attorney General’s office handles the prosecution of this case.”
Meadows has not responded to numerous interview requests from local or national media about the matter, and has provided no explanation or defense of his actions.
Being accused — and possibly charged — of violating election registration laws would be an embarrassing outcome for a former Trump official like Meadows, who has purported that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election even though none was ever found. In the final weeks of the Trump presidency, Meadows pressured the DOJ to investigate those false claims, sending multiple emails to department officials demanding that they look into debunked conspiracy theories about the election being stolen from the former president.
It’s possible that Meadows will be charged by the DOJ for being in contempt of Congress after he refused to follow a subpoena order from the House select committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol. In December, that committee voted to forward contempt charges against him for the full House to consider, though the chamber has not yet considered the charges.