Two GOP operatives are now being charged by the Department of Justice due to the fact that they were attempting to bend the rules.
It looks like a former senior aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul is now in big trouble. He was indicted earlier this month for allegedly funneling $25,000 from a wealthy, anonymous Russian benefactor to Trump’s reelection efforts in 2020. Yeah, you read that right. Only $25,000.
But before I digress too much, here is the big picture: the Justice Department is alleging that Jesse Benton, 43, the husband of the niece of Rand Paul and a veteran GOP staffer himself, had orchestrated a scheme where he would conceal this illegal foreign donation with Doug Wead, another GOP operative.
The details are as follows: the indictment was unsealed on Monday, and it alleged that there was a convoluted money trail from this unnamed Russian national through the consulting firm run by Benton and going to a Trump joint fundraising committee.
This Russian national was determined to underwrite this Trump fundraising event so that he could get a photo with the former president, according to communications between both Benton and Wead as noted in the indictment.
The indictment is alleging that Benton had received up to $100,000 from the Russian national and passed on 25% of that money to the joint fundraising committee. He is also being accused of pocketing the remaining $75,000.
Benton and Wead each face six different criminal charges, including conspiracy and abetting a foreign political contributor.
Neither Benton nor Wead have been commenting on the matter.
These GOP operatives were previously convicted Wead of filing false statements in connection to a scheme to funnel money from Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign to a well-known Iowa politician who had backed Paul in that state’s presidential caucus.
Trump pardoned Benton in the December prior to him leaving office.