Top Trump advisor Steve Bannon is cleared in a Florida voter fraud probe
MIAMI (AP) – Florida prosecutors say White House senior adviser Steve Bannon will not face charges related to his registration to vote in Miami despite spending most of his time elsewhere.
The Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s office concluded in a memo released Thursday that there was not enough evidence to prove any crime. Bannon registered to vote in the county in 2014 after leasing a house in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood.
Lawyers for Bannon didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
Prosecutors said the investigation focused on whether Bannon falsely claimed to reside in Florida on a voter registration form, which is a felony. The probe concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove Bannon didn’t intend to live in Florida.
The memo says the amount of time a person spends at a given address is not proof alone of residence.
The investigation by the prosecutor’s Public Corruption Unit found that Bannon first leased a home in Coconut Grove in April 2014 along with his ex-wife, Diane Clohesy. Clohesy told prosecutors that Bannon did stay in the house from time to time between 2014 and 2016.
Bannon’s office paid the rent and records also showed his name was on the lease and on another lease for a separate home in the same area, which he rented in January 2015. Bannon also took out accounts with utilities in his name for those residences.
Miami political consultant A.J. Delgado told investigators she met with Bannon at the first home and saw “boxes, papers and effects in the house that indicated to her that (he) was living at the house.” Delgado also said Bannon referred to the place as “my house.”
Bannon also had an active California driver’s license, the investigation revealed, but the address had not been updated since March 2013. Bannon also was linked to several other properties in New York and California but none were listed as his main residence for tax reasons, the memo says.
To prove a violation, prosecutors concluded they would have to prove Bannon did not intend to live in Miami-Dade County when he originally registered to vote in 2014.