Court Battles

Meadows ally to plead guilty to illegal campaign contribution

Mark Meadows
FILE – Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Oct. 21, 2020, in Washington. The prosecutor who’s investigating whether Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in Georgia is seeking to compel testimony from more allies of the former president, including Meadows and lawyer Sidney Powell. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

An unsuccessful Republican congressional candidate who ran to replace former Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) after he joined the Trump White House will plead guilty to accepting an illegal campaign contribution, according to court filings.

Federal prosecutors on Friday charged Lynda Bennett for knowingly accepting a $25,000 campaign contribution from a relative that was made in someone else’s name. A court filing on Monday indicated Bennett agreed to plead guilty. 

Bennett, a real estate agent and GOP activist, ultimately lost the race to Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) despite receiving endorsements from Meadows and former President Trump in her 2020 primary.

Many details of the purportedly illegal contribution remain unclear. Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper to set a hearing for her to formally enter the plea.

Federal campaign finance laws prohibited individual contributions that exceeded $2,800 for the 2020 primary cycle or $2,800 for that year’s general election cycle.

Kearns Davis, Bennett’s attorney, said the donation was a loan from a family member and described it as a “technical violation” of campaign finance laws.

“Lynda looks forward to putting it behind her,” said Davis.

Meadows’s wife, Debbie Meadows, was close with Bennett and reportedly encouraged the former president to endorse her in the primary.

Cawthorn ultimately beat Bennett by about 32 percentage points, or 15,000 votes.

–Updated at 2:36 p.m.

Tags campaign finance Christopher Cooper Donald Trump Donald Trump Lynda Bennett Lynda Bennett Madison Cawthorn Mark Meadows Mark Meadows North Carolina

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