Dowless, subpoenaed to appear before federal grand jury, leaves without testifying

Updated: Apr. 16, 2019 at 9:59 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - McCrae Dowless showed up in Raleigh to appear before a federal grand jury on Tuesday but was turned away.

Dowless, a Bladen County political operative who is facing a multiple-count felony indictment on state elections charges in Wake County, was subpoenaed to either appear before or produce documents to a federal grand jury in March.

The subpoena seeks documents or testimony for a grand jury meeting April 16-18, 2019.

Late Tuesday night, Dowless’ attorney, Cynthia Adams Singletary, confirmed to WBTV that she and Dowless appeared at the federal courthouse on Tuesday but were told he was not scheduled to testify.

Previous: Federal investigators issue subpoenas in NC-9 investigation

It is not clear if or when Dowless will be required to testify. He has not produced any of the records specified in the subpoena, Singletary said.

Seperately, Singletary said Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has produced thousands of pages of discovery in the state criminal case against Dowless.

Dowless and four employees were indicted and arrested in February on state criminal charges related to election fraud stemming from the 2016 general election and 2018 primary election.

Previous: EXCLUSIVE: McCrae Dowless, key figure in NC-9 election fraud case, speaks to WBTV after release from jail

He has pleaded not guilty.

The Bladen County political operative began drawing increased scrutiny from state and federal investigators, as well as the North Carolina State Board of Elections, following the November 2018 election, in which Dowless worked for 9th Congressional District candidate Mark Harris.

Harris won the race over Democrat Dan McCready by less than 1,000 votes but the results were thrown out and a new election ordered after Harris admitted to making misstatements under oath during a NCSBE hearing and called for a new election.

The primary for that race is scheduled for early May, with a runoff, if needed, to be held in September. The general election for the new 9th District race will either be held in September if the runoff isn’t necessary or in November if there is a runoff.

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