GOP operative Jesse Benton was indicted on Monday of multiple federal felonies, including causing an illegal campaign contribution by a foreign national.
Benton was charged alongside Doug Wead of Florida. The two are charged with working together to obtain a campaign donation from an unnamed Russian individual — which is illegal — in exchange for a meeting with a "2016 presidential candidate."
Allegedly, Benton set up the meeting at a fund-raiser, after which the foreign national wired $100,000 to Benton's consulting company. Benton created a fake invoice to explain the payment.
According to the Justice Department's charging documents, Benton then made a personal contribution of $25,000 to a fundraising committee, and kept the remaining $75,000 for himself.
The indictments indicate that the presidential candidate or his campaign did not know of the scheme.
Benton has long been involved with the Paul family, as well as other leading Republicans.
- Communications director for Ron Paul 2008 presidential campaign
- Campaign manager for Rand Paul 2010 Senate campaign
- Part of Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign; accused of hiring a state senator in Iowa in order to get him to switch his support from Michele Bachmann to Paul
- Campaign manager for Mitch McConnell in 2014; resigned after more information came out about the alleged 2012 bribery scandal
- Married to Ron Paul's granddaughter
Benton was eventually found guilty in the Iowa scandal, but was pardoned by President Trump in 2020.
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