GOP lawmaker Mark Walker ensnared in federal corruption probe

Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerNorth Carolina poised to pass new congressional maps Intercollegiate athletics just got a two-minute warning North Carolina ruling could cost GOP House seats MORE (R-N.C.) is involved in a federal corruption probe in North Carolina that has led to the indictment of the state GOP chairman on bribery charges.

Walker is not named in the indictment unsealed on Tuesday, but Politico reported that it was able to identify him as "Public Official A" by using the indictment and Federal Election Commission (FEC) records.

A North Carolina Republican operative confirmed to The Hill Walker's involvement as "Public Official A."

ADVERTISEMENT

Walker reportedly received $150,000 from businessman and wealthy donor Greg Lindberg at a time when Lindberg asked him to pressure North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey to make official decisions favorable to Lindberg’s business.

A spokesman for Walker told The Hill that the North Carolina lawmaker is not involved in the investigation.

"Greg Lindberg has contributed to both the Republican and Democratic Party. The February contribution went to the Republican National Committee and did not benefit Walker’s campaign," Jack Minor told The Hill. "Walker is not and never has been a target of this investigation and has committed no wrongdoing. He has assisted the [Department of Justice]."

Communications released by the Department of Justice suggest Walker was part of Lindberg's plans to pressure Causey into firing his senior deputy commissioner.

"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 said in a February 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. He also gave the National Republican Congressional Committee more than $178,000 in two separate checks on Jan. 31, 2018.

Multiple individuals, including state GOP chairman Robin Hayes, were indicted Tuesday on charges of public corruption and bribery.

Hayes, Lindberg and two of his associates — John Gray and John Palermo — sought to use independent expenditure accounts and improper campaign contributions to bribe Causey, according to the indictment.

Causey agreed to cooperate with the probe and was not charged.

An attorney for Lindberg said he is innocent.

"Greg Lindberg is innocent of the charges in the indictment, and we look forward to demonstrating this when we get our day in court," Anne Tompkins said.