Federal investigators issue subpoenas in NC-9 investigation

Republican Mark Harris calls for a new election in NC's 9th Congressional District
Republican Mark Harris calls for a new election in NC's 9th Congressional District
Updated: Mar. 12, 2019 at 12:20 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Department of Justice has issued subpoenas for a federal grand jury investigation into allegations of election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

The US Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section has issued at least three subpoenas for documents related to the 9th District.

The subpoenas come less than a month after the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted unanimously to hold a new election in the 9th District. The vote came at the abrupt end of a four-day evidentiary hearing held by the board that concluded with Republican Mark Harris--the candidate who received the winning number of votes in the November 2018 contest--admitting he had given incorrect testimony and calling for a new election.

A week after the hearing concluded, state prosecutors filed a multi-count indictment against McCrae Dowless, a Bladen County Political operative who ran an absentee ballot operation for Harris and others in the 2018 election, and four associates on charges of possessing absentee ballots, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice related to actions alleged to have happened in the 2016 general election and 2018 primary.

Full coverage: Read all of WBTV’s NC-9 coverage here

Now, federal investigators have begun the process of collecting evidence through a grand jury proceeding.

Grand Jury Subpoena by on Scribd

Patrick Gannon, a NCSBE spokesman, confirmed late Monday night that the board received a subpoena from the Justice Department to produce “all documents related to the investigation of election irregularities affecting counties within the 9th Congressional District.”

On Tuesday, NCSBE Director Kim Strach issued a statement addressing the subpoena and related federal investigation.

“We support the efforts of state and federal authorities to investigate and prosecute crimes against the elections process," Strach said. "State Board staff are compiling records responsive to the federal grand jury subpoena and are prepared to assist federal and state prosecutors in their investigations. We hope that prosecutions in these cases will help restore voters’ confidence in our elections and serve as a strong deterrent to future elections fraud.”

Separately, an attorney for McCrae Dowless, Cynthia Singletary, confirmed her client had also received a grand jury subpoena.

A spokesman for Harris’ campaign said the campaign had also received a subpoena in connection with the federal investigation.

The subpoenas request documents for a grand jury proceeding scheduled to be held April 16-18, 2019.

A copy of the subpoena sent to the NCSBE, which was issued last Wednesday, requests documents be sent to an FBI agent in Cary.

A spokeswoman for the FBI was not immediately available for comment Monday night.

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