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Friday, March 31, 2017

Steve Bannon won't be charged for his Florida voter registration

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 4:13 PM

  • Photo via Gage Skidmore on Flickr.
Even though he lived in cities across the country while being registered to vote in Miami, Steve Bannon won't be facing any criminal charges related to his voter fraud investigation.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, prosecutors announced Thursday, March 30, that they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bannon broke the law when he signed up to vote in Miami-Dade County.

Bannon filed to be a registered Miami voter twice after leasing homes in Coconut Grove, despite the fact that he seemed to spend most of his time out of state.

Under Florida law, a person must live at the property that they use to register to vote, or they could risk felony charges.

In order to charge Bannon, investigators had to definitively answer a narrow question: whether Bannon lied to the elections department about his residency when he filed to be a voter in Miami-Dade.

Ultimately, they concluded that because of contradictory evidence — such as Bannon calling the Grove property “my house” in an email to a fellow political operative — there would have been enough information to cause “reasonable doubt” before a jury.

Investigators couldn't find substantial evidence, despite associations with other properties around the country, that indicated Bannon did not consider the Miami homes his primary residence.

During 2014, when Bannon first leased a home in Coconut Grove, his ex-wife Diane Clohesy told investigators that Bannon had lived there with her.

Then in January 2015, Bannon leased a nearby home on Onaway Drive, with paperwork naming him and Clohesy as tenants.

“Especially in our increasingly mobile society, a person may spend the majority of his or her nights at one (or multiple) locations, but legally reside at another under Florida law,” prosecutors say.

Before the November election, Bannon moved his address to Nokomis, near Sarasota, and was removed from the voter rolls in Miami-Dade.

But he did not vote in Florida, choosing instead to cast his ballot in New York, where he was also registered.

After it emerged that he had voted in New York, his name was taken off the voter roll in Sarasota.

The Washington Post reports that Bannon lived nomadically before taking up residence as Donald Trump's chief strategist in Washington, D.C. He owned houses in California and Florida, but also frequently stayed in London, New York and in Breitbart's townhouse headquarters on Capitol Hill.

Bannon was never charged for being registered to vote in two states, which isn't illegal, something Trump seemed confused about when he made his claim that millions of people had voted illegally back in January. It is only a crime to cast more than one ballot.

Trump's daughter, Tiffany, is also registered to vote in two states, according to The Washington Post.

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