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Cawthorn condemns voter fraud (unless it's by Mark Meadows)

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn speaks to a Republican audience on Saturday at Cascades Resort. U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn speaks to a Republican audience on Saturday at Cascades Resort.

The first question after U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn spoke to a Henderson County Republican breakfast Saturday morning was, "What do we do about the stolen election?"

In his expansive response to the softball, Cawthorn described an organization that his 11th District chief of staff, Hal Weatherman, had founded to uncover "voting irregularities" in North Carolina's elections. But when Asheville Citizen-Times reporter Joel Burgess asked Cawthorn about the recent revelation that former 11th District Congressman Mark Meadows had declared a trailer in the boondocks of Macon County as his residence for voting purposes, Cawthorn's deep well of knowledge about elections fraud suddenly ran dry.

Here's the exchange:

Burgess: "Can you talk about Mark Meadows and the investigation of his alleged voter fraud?"

Cawthorn: "I think Mark Meadows is a great American. It’s my honor to take his place."

Burgess: "Should he be investigated?"

Cawthorn: “I’m honestly not exactly sure what’s going on there."

Burgess:  “So he’s being investigated because he told people that he lived in a singlewide mobile home in Macon County and nobody ever saw him there."

Cawthorn: "And there's nothing wrong with that."

Burgess: "But the question is — you’re talking about voter fraud right now — I mean, do you think that that’s a bit suspicious?”

Cawthorn: “Yeah, I have no … I don’t know anything about that. But I will tell you, I think Mark Meadows is a great American, did a great job as chief of staff to the president United States. I do believe he’ll be chief of staff again when Donald Trump runs again because I have a feeling it’s going to be huge.”

A spokeswoman for Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein confirmed to the Raleigh News & Observer confirmed that two agencies are conducting an investigation into the question of the residency Meadows declared when he registered to vote ahead of the 2020 election.

"We have requested that the (State Bureau of Investigation) investigate alongside the State Board of Elections," the spokeswoman, Nazneen Ahmed, told the N&O. "At the conclusion of the investigation, we'll review the findings."

Under North Carolina election law, intentionally providing false information on voter registration is a felony.