The office of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein (D) has asked the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) to look into former White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsIs Merrick Garland finally ready to indict Donald Trump? Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Trump campaign adviser Cleta Mitchell, five others Supreme Court deals final blow to Trump bid to stymie Jan. 6 panel MORE over allegations that he registered to vote at an address where he does not live.
The request came after Macon County District Attorney Ashley Welch referred the matter to the North Carolina Justice Department’s Special Prosecutions Section, said Nazneen Ahmed, a spokeswoman for Stein’s office. The Attorney General’s office agreed to the request.
“We have asked the SBI to investigate and at the conclusion of the investigation, we’ll review their findings,” Ahmed said in an email.
WRAL first reported the investigation.
Meadows, the conservative former congressman whom Trump tapped to run the White House in the run-up to the 2020 election, registered to vote at a mobile home in Scaly Mountain, a small unincorporated community in Macon County.
The New Yorker reported this month that Meadows does not own the property and has never lived there.
Meadows and his wife, Debbie, both voted in the 2020 elections by absentee ballot, which they had delivered to their home in Washington, D.C.
The New Yorker’s report raised questions about whether Meadows, who participated in spreading lies about the results of the election in part by raising the specter of widespread voter fraud, committed such fraud himself.
Meadows did not respond to The New Yorker’s request for comment. He could not be reached on Thursday, either through a former top aide or an attorney representing him in a referral to the federal Justice Department made by the U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol.
Providing false information on a voter registration form is a felony under federal law. It is also a Class I felony under the North Carolina General Statutes, punishable by three to four months in prison under state sentencing guidelines. The absentee ballot request form Meadows would have filled out included an item asking the voter where they lived as of the date they made the request.
The conservative Heritage Foundation, which keeps a database of voter fraud charges, lists one instance of voter registration fraud in North Carolina, a case in which a man pleaded guilty to charges of voter registration fraud and voter fraud for casting ballots in two different states in the 2012 election. The maximum sentence for voter fraud in that case, court documents show, was 15 months.
The court documents say the man reached a plea deal with prosecutors to serve a suspended sentence of between four and 14 months, and to serve probation for a year.