Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, will not be charged in connection to an investigation of his registering as a voter in Miami-Dade County, Florida, despite reports last year that he had not lived at his listed address for months.
“The State Attorney’s Office received information that the subject had fraudulently registered to vote in Miami-Dade County,” prosecutors wrote in a close-out memo shared with TPM Thursday, summarizing the allegations against Bannon. “According to reports, the subject registered to vote by listing an address in Coconut Grove as his home address, while actually residing outside of Florida.”
“However, the investigation also revealed sufficient evidence that the subject intended to legally reside in Miami-Dade County. Therefore, at a minimum, there is reasonable doubt as to the subject’s guilt,” it concluded later.
The Miami Herald first reported the news Thursday.
The memo noted that “[t]o ‘reside’ at a location is a nebulous concept that depends on a person’s actions and their subjective state of mind.”
“The Florida case law interpreting [voter residency] is both sparse and antique,” it added.
The Guardian first reported in late August 2016 that the house in Coconut Grove, a Miami neighborhood, where Bannon was registered to vote had been abandoned for months. Sources told the publication that Bannon had rarely, if ever, visited the house, and the owner of the rental unit said he was preparing to do construction work on the property.
Still, Bannon never voted in Miami, as the Miami Herald reported a few days after the Guardian’s revelation, and he mailed paperwork to change his registration a few days before the Guardian’s report, to an address in Sarasota County, Florida. One local conservative pundit told the publication he had visited Bannon at the house “on various occasions” beginning in 2013.
On August 31, NBC News confirmed with local election officials that the state attorney’s office had request Bannon’s voter records.
And earlier this month, the Herald reported that the state attorney’s office still considered the case an “active criminal” investigation, though the publication noted that “local prosecutors are notoriously slow in closing out investigations that lead nowhere.”
Read the State Attorney’s Office’s close-out memo below: