GOP strategist sentenced over Russian contribution to Trump campaign

GOP strategist sentenced over Russian contribution to Trump campaign
GOP strategist sentenced over Russian contribution to Trump campaign

A Republican advisor was sentenced Friday to 18 months in jail for his function in conspiring to illegally funnel contributions from a Russian nationwide to former President Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign.

Jesse R. Benton, 45, of The Woodlands, Texas, was convicted in November on a sequence of expenses together with conspiracy, contribution by a international nationwide, and inflicting false data to be filed with the Federal Election Fee.

It is the second time Benton, who has suggested quite a few GOP lawmakers on campaign technique, has been convicted of expenses associated to political contributions.

In accordance to court docket paperwork, Benton schemed with Roy Douglas, one other political adviser, to go contributions to Trump’s campaign from a Russian nationwide who wished to meet and take an image with the candidate.

On the time, Benton was a strategist for the Nice America PAC, an excellent PAC that backed Trump in 2016.

The Russian nationwide allegedly wired $100,000 as a part of an association with Benton to attend a Trump campaign fundraiser.

Benton hid the Russian nationwide’s identification from Trump and his campaign and created a pretend bill to disguise the scheme, court docket paperwork say. Performing as a straw donor, Benton allegedly contributed $25,000 of the Russian nationwide’s cash to the campaign, whereas pocketing the remaining $75,000.

The Justice Division said the campaign was unaware of the scheme.

Benton had worked on the campaigns of GOP Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Benton resigned as McConnell’s campaign supervisor in 2014 amid fallout from his work on Ron Paul’s presidential campaign two years earlier.

In 2016, Benton was convicted with Ron Paul campaign supervisor John Tate of concealing $73,000 in funds that went to Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson in trade for Sorenson’s endorsement of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. Each Benton and Tate have been sentenced to sentenced to six months of house confinement and probation. Trump pardoned them in December 2020.

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