Judge dismisses criminal charges against Virginia election official accused of misconduct in 2020 – LSB

Garima
3 Min Read


  • A judge has dismissed criminal charges against former Prince William County, Virginia, recorder Michelle White.
  • Corruption and false statements charges against White were dropped on Friday.
  • White still must stand trial on charges of willful neglect of duty next month.

A Virginia judge dismissed criminal charges against a former county elections official accused of misconduct in the 2020 election, a decision made after state prosecutors said a key witness changed his story.

At the request of prosecutors, a judge on Friday dismissed a felony disorderly conduct charge and a false statement charge, both levied against former Prince William County Recorder Michelle White. She still faces trial next month on a misdemeanor charge of willful neglect of duty.

Very little has been revealed publicly about what wrongdoing prosecutors believe White made. Court records indicate only that the case revolves around the 2020 election results, including the presidential race.

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Prince William election officials previously said White’s successor reported “discrepancies” in the results to state officials, but those discrepancies could not have affected the outcome of any race.

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Criminal charges related to 2020 have been dropped against a former election official in Prince William County, Virginia.

The case was brought by Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares last year. Shortly after his office obtained the indictment against White, he launched the Election Integrity Unit. The move prompted critics to accuse Miyares of appeasing supporters of former President Donald Trump, who falsely blamed his defeat on election fraud.

In White’s case, Assistant Attorney General James Herring filed a motion before Friday’s hearing alleging that an election worker “conveniently and surprisingly presented a different version of events” than the witness had previously recounted.

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“As a result, the Commonwealth faces wildly conflicting statements,” Herring wrote.

White’s attorney, Zachary Stafford, said he interviewed the same witness and found nothing inconsistent in his statements. Stafford said in a statement that the elections employee “filled a gap that the initial investigation did not address” regarding who was asked to make changes to the state’s voter registration system. The system is being replaced after an audit questioned its reliability and functionality.

Stafford said the witness reported that White did not ask him to make the changes now under scrutiny and that it was a “poor choice of words” for prosecutors to refer to the updated witness testimony as “adequate.”

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District Attorney Miyares’ office declined to comment beyond the court filing, citing the ongoing misdemeanor case.

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