GOP strategist sentenced over Russian contribution to Trump campaign

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A Republican marketing consultant 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 marketing campaign.

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

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

In line with courtroom paperwork, Benton schemed with Roy Douglas, one other political adviser, to cross contributions to Trump’s marketing campaign from a Russian nationwide who wished to satisfy and take an image with the candidate.

On the time, Benton was a strategist for the Nice America PAC, a brilliant 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 marketing campaign fundraiser.

Benton hid the Russian nationwide’s id from Trump and his marketing campaign and created a pretend bill to disguise the scheme, courtroom paperwork say. Appearing as a straw donor, Benton allegedly contributed $25,000 of the Russian nationwide’s cash to the marketing 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 marketing campaign supervisor in 2014 amid fallout from his work on Ron Paul’s presidential marketing campaign two years earlier.

In 2016, Benton was convicted with Ron Paul marketing campaign supervisor John Tate of concealing $73,000 in funds that went to Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson in change for Sorenson’s endorsement of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential marketing campaign. Each Benton and Tate had been sentenced to sentenced to 6 months of residence confinement and probation. Trump pardoned them in December 2020.

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