Mark Meadows faces electoral fraud question over voter registration address

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP</span>
Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

Mark Meadows played a key role in supporting and advancing Donald Trump’s lie about widespread electoral fraud in his defeat by Joe Biden, but the former White House chief of staff may have committed such fraud himself.

According to the New Yorker, Meadows registered to vote at a property in North Carolina at which he appears never to have lived.

Related: Mark Meadows was at the center of the storm on 6 January. But only Trump could call it off

Meadows resigned from the US House and became Trump’s fourth and last chief of staff in March 2020. He registered to vote in September, the New Yorker said.

Asked for the address “where you physically live”, the magazine said, Meadows “wrote down the address of a 14ft-by-62ft mobile home in Scaly Mountain”, North Carolina, and “listed his move-in date for this address as the following day, 20 September”.

“Meadows does not own this property and never has,” the New Yorker said. “It is not clear that he has ever spent a single night there.”

Meadows did not comment to the magazine. The New Yorker spoke to the home’s former and current owners and neighbors and said that while members of Meadows’ family may have spent time in the property, it was not clear he ever slept there.

The current owner said: “I’ve made a lot of improvements. But when I got it, it was not the kind of place you’d think the chief of staff of the president would be staying.”

Told of Meadows using the address to register to vote, the owner said: “That’s weird that he would do that. Really weird.”

Were Meadows to be found to have committed voter fraud, it would not be the first time he had embarrassed the president he served.

In December, the Guardian was first to report that in his memoir, Meadows describes how Trump tested positive for Covid-19 but covered up the result (and a second negative) and went ahead with his first debate against Joe Biden.

The memoir repeats Trump’s claims about voter fraud, lies which stoked the deadly attack on Congress on 6 January 2021.

Meadows initially cooperated with the House committee investigating the attack, then withdrew. The committee recommended a charge of criminal contempt of Congress. None has been forthcoming from the Department of Justice.

As the New Yorker pointed out, it is a federal crime to provide false information to register to vote in a federal election.

Melanie D Thibault, director of the board of elections in Macon county, North Carolina, told the New Yorker she was “kind of dumbfounded” by Meadows’ registration.

She also said he had voted absentee, by mail, in the 2020 election.

Meadows’ old boss has repeatedly attacked voting by mail – despite doing it himself.