White House chief strategist Steve Bannon won't face any criminal charges related to his mysterious voter registration in Miami-Dade County.
Prosecutors announced Thursday that they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bannon, President Donald Trump's special assistant, broke the law when he signed up to vote in Miami-Dade County after leasing homes in Coconut Grove — even though he seemed to spend most of his time outside of the state.
“To ‘reside’ at a location is a nebulous concept that depends on a person’s actions and their subjective state of mind,” according to a final memo released by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. “The Florida case law interpreting [voter residency] is both sparse and antique.”
Investigators were looking at a narrow question: whether Bannon lied to the elections department about his residency when he twice filed to be a voter in Miami-Dade.
Prosecutors ultimately concluded that the evidence “tends to indicate” that Bannon “did not intend to or actually reside in Miami-Dade County” between 2014 and 2016. But there was enough contradictory evidence — including Bannon calling the Grove property “my house” in an email to a fellow political operative — to create “reasonable doubt” before a jury.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office had been investigating the matter since August, when The Guardian, a British newspaper, reported that Trump’s newly minted campaign chief could have violated the law by registering to vote in Miami. Bannon never actually voted in Miami-Dade County.
Photo credit: Evan Vucci, Associated Press