A family friend of Mark Meadows has agreed to plead guilty to accepting an illegal campaign contribution during an ill-fated 2020 run to succeed Trump’s former White House chief of staff in Congress, according to reports. recently released court documents.
Lynda Bennett, who lost in a 2020 Republican primary campaign to Madison Cawthorn, accepted a contribution from a family member exceeding $25,000, according to charging documents filed by prosecutors. The contribution was given “on behalf of another person,” according to the documents, signed by U.S. attorney Matthew Graves and Corey Amundson, head of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section.
Details about the allegation were scarce. Prosecutors asked U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper on Monday to schedule a hearing for Bennett to formally enter into the plea deal in federal court in Washington, DC, but said she signed the paperwork.
Bennett did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. A lawyer for Mark Meadows also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bennett’s campaign finance records do not immediately specify which contributions prosecutors believe were illegal. Bennett’s reports say she loaned herself $80,000 at the end of 2019 and repaid some of it. His report terminating his political committee did not mention any outstanding balance.
Campaign finance laws limited individual campaign contributions for the 2020 election cycle to $2,800 in the primary and $2,800 in the general for an overall total of $5,600 in that campaign cycle. However, candidates can make unlimited donations or loans to their own campaigns.
Meadows backed Bennett to replace him in Congress after resigning her seat to join Trump’s White House, until she lost the primary to Cawthorn. Then-President Donald Trump also endorsed Bennett in the primary, and Republicans in North Carolina feared Meadows’ aggressive effort to steer his seat to an ally could backfire.
Meadows’ wife, Debbie, actively supported Bennett during the campaign trail, and Meadows pointed to his wife’s closeness to Bennett to emphasize her support for Trump.
Mark Meadows is facing intense legal scrutiny for his role in Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Prosecutors in Washington and Georgia are investigating that effort, as well as the role played by some of Trump’s close allies .