by Sam Hieb
Surely by now you’ve heard that N.C. Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes, political donor Greg Lindberg of Durham and two others have been indicted on charges of wire fraud, bribery, and making false statements to law enforcement agents as part of a scheme to influence Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey through campaign donations.
However, Politico reports emails and texts refer to a “Public Official A”–who is not part of the indictment–who allegedly helped Lindberg “move the ball forward” in order to influence Causey. Politico has identified “Public Official A” as 6th District Congressional Rep. Mark Walker:
A Walker-controlled political committee received $150,000 from business owner Greg Lindberg at the same time Lindberg allegedly asked him to pressure North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey to replace his deputy, according to a criminal indictment unsealed on Tuesday.
…Texts and emails released by the DOJ said Walker was part of Lindberg’s scheme to pressure Causey over the personnel move. Causey alerted law enforcement officials to what was happening in January 2018, according to the indictment.
The indictment mentions several contacts Walker reportedly had with Causey in support of Lindberg’s secret campaign.
“Just between the 3 of us … [Public Official A] has already made two calls on our behalf and is trying to help us move the ball forward,” one of Lindberg’s associates wrote in a Feb. 12, 2018, email to Lindberg, according to the indictment. “I was also told that the $150,000 will be going to [Public Official A].”
FEC records show Lindberg donated to the Mark Walker Victory Committee on Feb. 17, 2018. Lindberg was the first donor to contribute to the committee, which was created only four days before his donation was recorded. The committee is a joint political fundraising committee between Walker’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee.
Walker has denied any wrongdoing, telling Politico:
“We’re not even part of this investigation,” Walker said of the federal criminal probe. “I’m not going to get into [that with] you with any kind of details. Two of those are constituents of mine. They reach out to me; one of them is the county chairman.”
Big picture here—there’s an election coming up next year, you know–this incident, combined with the 9th Congressional District mess and –the perfect storm–an unfavorable ruling from the Supreme Court on the gerrymandering case–could spell a bloodbath for Republicans.