Mark Middleton was an Arkansas businessman and former presidential advisor to President Bill Clinton whose May 2022 death is under scrutiny.
According to Radar Online, Middleton was a Little Rock businessman who was “linked to” sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein by introducing him to Clinton. Daily Mail reported that Middleton “admitted Jeffrey Epstein to the White House multiple times during his presidency.” Authorities have not accused Middleton of any involvement in Epstein’s crimes.
Middleton was 59 when he died. The family’s company is based in Bryant, Arkansas. His LinkedIn page says he was “President at MidCorp Capital” and based in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was listed as managing director of Middleton Heat and Air. He was a prominent member of the Bill Clinton administration in the 1990s.
The Middleton family has filed a lawsuit to prevent the local sheriff from releasing photos and videos of the death scene. His death was classified as a suicide, that lawsuit says.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Middleton Was Found ‘Hanging From a Tree With a Shotgun Blast Through His Chest,’ Reports Say
Middleton’s brother Larry Middleton wrote in an affidavit with the family’s lawsuit, “My brother died by suicide in Perry County, Arkansas on May 7, 2022, at the age of 59 years of age. Since his death, I, and other members of the family, have received intimidating, threatening, hurtful, and offensive inquiries from individuals regarding Mark and his death based on an unsupported, offensive, and unsubstantiated conspiracies.”
Radar Online reported that Middleton was discovered on May 7, 2022, “hanging from a tree with a shotgun blast through his chest and a cheap Dollar Tree-type extension cord around his neck.”
Investigators determined that his cause of death was suicide, the site reported. Daily Mail reported that Middleton died at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, “owned by an anti-poverty nonprofit called Heifer International, 30 miles away from his home.”
Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery gave Daily Mail details of the death before no longer talking. He told the site that Middleton had told his family he was “depressed.
“I don’t know the man, and I don’t why he picked our county or picked that location to commit suicide. To our knowledge, he had never been there before, and we have no record of him being there before,” the sheriff told Daily Mail previously.
“He died from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the chest. He found a tree and he pulled a table over there, and he got on that table, and he took an extension cord and put it around a limb, put it around his neck and he shot himself in the chest with a shotgun.”
The sheriff added: “It was very evident that the shotgun worked because there was not a lot of blood or anything on the scene. You can tell the shotgun blast was on his chest, you can tell that because there is a hole in the chest and pellets came out the back of his back. It was definitely self-inflicted in our opinion.”
Heavy has reached out to Sheriff Montgomery for comment. His spokesman responded that the department is not commenting because it’s an “open investigation.”
According to Radar Online, Arkansas mother of two Ashley Haynes “was found drowned in the Arkansas River with an extension cord knotted to her ankle and attached to a concrete block” months before Middleton died.
An anonymous source claimed to Radar Online that Haynes and Middleton knew each other. “I saw her in Mark’s office! I was leaving and he (Middleton) was telling me that he had a very important financial meeting – and that’s the woman who came in!” the anonymous business associate told the site.
“Mrs. Haynes had a bag strapped to her leg with a green extension cord,” states the police report, according to Radar Online. “Inside the bag was a large concrete block that measured 16x16x4.”
2. The Family Has Filed Suit to Prevent Release of Death Photos & Other Investigatory Materials
Middleton’s family has filed a lawsuit to prevent local investigators from releasing details about Middleton’s death.
Middleton’s wife Rhea and brother Larry filed the lawsuit on May 23. According to Radar Online, they used an attorney with the Rose Law Firm that once employed Hillary Clinton. It was filed in Perry County Circuit Court.
There is a June 14 hearing in the case, according to Perry County online court records.
Heavy has confirmed the details of the lawsuit, which reads:
This is an action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated §§ 16-111-101 et seq. The Middletons seek a declaration that: (1) the Middletons have a privacy interest in the photographs, videos, sketches, and other illustrative content (collectively the ‘Media Content’) depicting Mark Middleton’s (‘Mr. Middleton’) body or scene of Mr. Middleton’s death contained within the Perry County Sheriffs Department’s investigatory file designated as Case No. 22-244 (the ‘File’); (2) that the Defendants may not disclose the Media Content depicting Mr. Middleton’s body or the scene of Mr. Middleton’s death contained within the Perry County Sheriffs Department’s File; (3) and, in order for the Media Content to be disclosed, a party seeking disclosure must affirmatively meet the standard set by the Arkansas and United States Supreme Courts.
The lawsuit alleges:
The Middletons understand that the File contains Media Content that depicts Mr. Middleton’s body and the scene of Mr. Middleton’s death…Since Mr. Middleton’s death, Mr. Middleton’s family, including the Middletons, has been harassed by outlandish, hurtful, unsupported, and offensive online articles regarding Mr. Middleton, his death, and his family…These articles are scurrilous, baseless, and malicious…The same individuals who created the online articles will attempt to obtain details of the File, including the Media Content contained within the File, from Defendants. This information will then almost certainly be published online. Plaintiffs, and other family members of Mr. Middleton, will suffer irreparable harm if such materials are disclosed.
The family maintains that it has a privacy interest in the photos. They “seek a judgment declaring that the Media Content contained within the File that depict Mr. Middleton’s body or his scene of death not be disclosed in response to a FOIA request, as the family’s privacy interest outweighs the public’s interest, or lack thereof, in disclosure,” the lawsuit states.
Read the lawsuit in full here.
The family wrote that the death involves “no crimes.”
Radar Online had previously quoted an anonymous source who raised questions about Middleton’s death and said, “Everyone that I know here, that has worked with Mark, knows it is physically impossible for Mark to have killed himself.”
3. Middleton Was Described as a ‘Close Friend of the President’ in Congressional Documents & He Figured Into Some Major Clinton-Era Controversies
In 1999, the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform, discussed Middleton. U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, committee chair, said the following about him, according to a transcript.
Mark Middleton is here today. He is a former senior White House aide from Arkansas. He was a close friend of the President. He was the Special Assistant to the President and Assistant to the Chief of Staff. For the last 2 1/2 years, he has not cooperated with this committee’s investigation in any way.
Did Mark Middleton know Liu Chao-Ying? We don’t know. Was he working with the Chinese Government or other foreign sources
to arrange campaign contributions? We don’t know. Did Mark Middleton get a half a million dollars to do good things for
China? We don’t know.
We have asked Mr. Middleton to come in and talk with us. We have asked him to respond to all the allegations that have been raised about him. We have not been able to convince him to tell us his side of the story. His lawyer tells us that he is going to assert his fifth amendment rights and not answer any of our questions today.
Middleton was the former finance director for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign and special assistant to Clinton under Chief of Staff Mack McLarty. He was also the president of MidCorp Capital in Bryant, a member of the UAMS Foundation Fund board of advisors and the CHI St. Vincent Foundation board of directors, and a University of Arkansas alum.
In 1997, The New York Times reported:
In the spring of 1995, a few months after his fraud conviction, former Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell and his wife asked a recently retired White House aide whether the Riady family of Indonesia, which had already paid Hubbell $100,000, would be keeping him on its payroll even as he faced prison.
Over dinner at the Palm restaurant in Washington, the former aide, Mark Middleton, told the Hubbells to take their question to the Riady family itself or to John Huang, the Riadys’ former top American executive, who was then a trade official at the Commerce Department, says Robert Luskin, Middleton’s lawyer.
It is not known whether Hubbell ever followed up on Middleton’s suggestion at the Palm. But the gathering, and other new details gleaned from interviews with current and former aides and their associates, indicate that Middleton was one of about a dozen or so senior Clinton administration aides and advisers who found themselves drawn into Hubbell’s plight in one way or another.
The House committee says that Middleton “came to Washington in 1992 after raising money for the Clinton campaign. He was a young attorney who had left the law firm of Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates and Woodyard to become one of the first campaign workers for then-Governor Clinton.”
According to that document, “Middleton raised between $4-5 million as Arkansas Director and later as Southern Finance Director. During the transition period after the 1992 election, Middleton worked for Mack McLarty, who had just been named Chief of Staff. McLarty later hired Middleton as an executive or special assistant in the Chief of Staff’s Office, where he was a liaison to the Arkansas and business communities.”
4. The Family Described Middleton as an ‘Inspiring & Dedicated Leader’
The Middleton family announced the death of Middleton in a statement printed in May by the Benton Courier. That article says that the family owns Middleton Heat & Air.
“The Middleton family has lost an inspiring and dedicated leader, as well as a son, brother, husband and father. Mark leaves behind a company that he helped build from the ground up alongside his family and was proud to run for the last 25 years,” the family’s statement read, according to the newspaper.
“Mark also built a trusted, experienced and tenured team that we are confident in to lead during this difficult time. We know Mark would be grateful for their leadership and the continued commitment of each member of the Middleton team to provide the quality of service you have enjoyed for 45 years. No words can express our sadness over this loss or our gratitude for your support and prayers during this time.”
5. Middleton Helped Run One of the State’s ‘Largest HVAC Companies’ & Authorized Some of Epstein’s Trips to the White House, Reports Say
Arkansas Business reported that Middleton “helped turn the family business, Middleton Heat & Air, into one of the largest HVAC companies in the state.”
When Middleton died, Bryant City Hall wrote on Facebook,
The City of Bryant staff and elected officials were saddened to learn about the passing of Mr. Mark Middleton over the weekend. Mark has been an avid supporter of this community for many years. He has invested not only in the Bryant Parks System but also in the quality of play for hundreds of kids, who over time he sponsored in various recreational leagues. Our hearts go out to his family, and extended family, at Middleton Heat and Air.
According to his LinkedIn page, Middleton had a law degree from the University of Arkansas.
Daily Mail reported that Epstein “made at least 17 trips to the White House between 1993 and 1995, seven of which were authorized by Middleton.” According to Daily Mail, Middleton “was also one of the many passengers to fly on Epstein’s jet, known as the ‘Lolita Express.'”
Middleton’s name appears in Epstein’s “black book,” according to the site, Epstein’s Black Book.