What is the worst thing that we could imagine Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), the Eddie Haskell of the Senate, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) doing? Ah, so many choices. McConnell let a Russian oligarch build an aluminum processing plant in his state. Rand attacked COVID expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. Oh, wait. Here it is.
Mitch Grand-Reaper McConnell hired a legally questionable guy named Jesse Benton to lead his campaign in 2014. That was until the guy was forced to step down amid “legal scrutiny.” And Paul’s son, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), chose Benton to lead his election campaign.
But how is that bad? Well, Benton and a guy named Doug Wead were bad, very bad, according to The POLITICO:
‘Two veteran Republican campaign operatives — including one who got a pardon from then-President Donald Trump one month before he left office — are charged in a new federal indictment with funneling $25,000 from a Russian national into the Trump campaign in 2016.’
Benton, 43, and Wead, 75, pled not guilty to six felony charges in a video hearing at the U.S. District Court in Washington. The charges stemmed from their part in helping this foreign national contribute to Donald Trump’s campaign on October 27, 2016. They served as straw donors and filed false campaign finance reports.
The two accepted $100,000 from a thus-far unidentified Russian national at a Trump fundraiser on September 22, 2016, according to the grand jury indictment. And all the mysterious Russan wanted was a face-to-face meeting with the near-president? Come on.
Supposedly, neither Trump nor his campaign was named. But the justic.gov, 19-page document strongly hinted at it:
‘For example, the indictment’s reference to a $25,000 donation on Oct. 27, 2016, to a political committee by Benton — allegedly to cover up the foreign source of the money — lines up with a donation of the same size and date to Trump’s political committee attributed to a “Jesse Bentor,” which prosecutors said is a garbling of Benton’s name.’
Outlaws Benton and Wead thought they could cash in on this scheme, and did they ever. Of the $100,000 the mysterious Russan handed them, only $25,000 made it into Trump Victory.
This coincided with Benton serving two years’ probation on another charge, an “Iowa-related campaign finance case.”
Wead was, indeed, a familiar face when the Republicans held the White House. Two of Trump’s previous attorneys, Jay Sekulow and Jane Raskin, represented the two men. Asked about the charges, Sekulow said in a statement:
‘Doug Wead is a respected author and supporter of charitable causes. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and will continue to respond appropriately in court.’
We should have looked harder at the list of people the ex-president pardoned, because Benton was right in there, according to Axios:
‘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.’
To read the entire document, go to the justice.gov site here.
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