John Harris Testifies In NC9 Evidentiary Hearing, Says His Father Ignored Concerns Raised About Dowless

RALEIGH, NC — Mark Harris wiped away tears as his son testified in the 9th District evidentiary hearing.

John Harris’ testimony came as a surprise to many. The 29-year-old Assistant US attorney said he raised concerns about McCrae Dowless, the man at the center of the investigation, but that his warnings were ignored.

Few people knew Mark Harris’ son John would testify today.

The 29-year-old Assistant US attorney Says he raised concerns about McCrae Dowless to his father several times but his warnings were ignored.

“Do I agree with their ultimate assessment? No. I thought what he was doing was illegal. And I was right,” said John Harris during today’s testimony.

The Harris campaign hired McCrae Dowless to do get out the vote efforts. Witnesses have testified this week that Dowless sent outside the law and paid people to collect completed ballots.

John Harris said he had his suspicions.

“I think they made mistakes in this process and they certainly did things differently than I would have done them,” said John Harris.

John Harris said he saw irregularities in the 2016 primary absentee results. Harris lost that race and numbers show he had very few absentee ballots cast in Bladen County.

Dowless was working for Harris’ opponent.

“He wanted the results. He wanted the same kind of abnormal fraudulent results that he had been the victim of and this time McCrae Dowless was going to be on his team,” said Mark Elias, the Attorney for Dan McCready.

Harris’ Attorney says the warnings from John were weighed against those opinions of other political consultants and prominent people in Bladen County.

“In the research, he had done and the people he had talked too, they vouched for Mr. Dowless enough that he believed it was appropriate,” said David Freedman.

Harris consultant Andy Yates of Red Dome group testified that John never expressed concern.

“I do not recall ever having a conversation with him about that,” said Yates.

John remembers telling Yates something entirely different.

“I’ve heard about this McCrae guy. He seems like he might be a shady character,” said John Harris, recalling the content of his conversation with Yates.

Mark Harris said publicly that he was never warned about McCrae Dowless or his illegal ballot collecting scheme.

His son’s testimony showing otherwise.

John Harris did say that he does believe his father trusted what Dowless told him. And that nothing illegal was happening.

Mark Harris is scheduled to testify Thursday on Day four of the hearing.