CHARLOTTE – Even though the investigation into election fraud allegations in the 9th Congressional District has concluded as far as the State Board of Elections is concerned, that doesn’t mean the saga is over. Far from it; the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Unit has issued a subpoena to Republican candidate Mark Harris.
From the Charlotte Observer:
“[…] The department’s Public Integrity Section, which prosecutes political corruption cases, has issued grand jury subpoenas to Republican Mark Harris and other parties in the case.
The Justice investigation comes on top of a state probe by Wake County prosecutors that already has resulted in five arrests. It would widen the scope to include federal crimes.
Both Harris and his campaign were subpoenaed to present documents to a federal grand jury next month, according to Harris’s attorney, David Freedman. So was the State Board of Elections, a spokesman confirmed.
WBTV reported a subpoena also went to McCrae Dowless, the Bladen County operative at the center of the fraud allegations. He could not be reached.
The Justice Department’s involvement raises the legal stakes for any defendant, who could be charged and convicted of both state and federal crimes.
“The federal government is doing its due diligence because this is a matter of significant public interest,” said Richard Myers, a UNC law professor and former federal prosecutor. “(But) if you are a potential defendant, it won’t make you comfortable.””
We’d venture a guess that this subpoena makes Mark Harris quite UNcomfortable. In his testimony to the Board of Elections Harris was put on the spot about inconsistencies of narrative when contrasted with testimony of other witnesses such as his son. If the Feds are serious about making an example of the 9th District saga to give warning that such election shenanigans are to be taken seriously, it could mean big trouble for Harris.
Read more about the entire case, and the latest developments, from the Charlotte Observer here.