Categories
Politics

GOP operatives accused of funneling Russian cash to Trump

A former senior aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul was indicted this month for allegedly funneling $25,000 from a wealthy, unnamed Russian to former President Trump’s reelection efforts.

The big picture: The Justice Department alleges that Jesse Benton, 43, the husband of Paul’s niece and a veteran Republican staffer, orchestrated a scheme to conceal the illegal foreign donation with another GOP operative, Doug Wead.

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

The details: The indictment, unsealed on Monday, outlines allegations of a convoluted money trail from the unnamed Russian national through a consulting firm run by Benton and to a Trump joint fundraising committee. The Russian national was determined to underwrite a Trump fundraising event in order to get a photo with the former president, according to communications between Benton and Weed cited in the indictment.

The indictment alleges that Benton received $100,000 from the Russian national and passed on $25,000 to the joint fundraising committee, allegedly pocketing the remaining $75,000.

Wead and Benton each face six criminal charges, including conspiracy and abetting illegal foreign political contributions.

For the record: Efforts to reach Wead were not immediately successful. Benton did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Benton was previously convicted of filing false statements in connection with a scheme to funnel money from Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign to an influential Iowa politician who backed Paul in the state’s presidential caucus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *