Jesse Benton acquitted in case involving Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign

10/22/2015 01:42 PM

A federal jury in Iowa has acquitted Kentuckian and former Ron Paul staffer Jesse Benton of making false statements to the FBI, the lone charge he faced in trial.

In early October, a judge threw out four other counts against Benton and all counts against John Tate.

An indictment handed down in August initially charged Benton with five counts ranging from conspiracy, causing false records and campaign expenditure reports, false statements scheme and false statements.

On Thursday, the jury found Dimitri Kesari a co-defendant in the case and former Ron Paul campaign aide, guilty of causing the campaign to file false records concerning the payments to former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, according to the Associated Press. Kesari was acquitted on several other charges including conspiracy and a scheme to falsify statements.

The allegations against Benton, Kesari and Tate date back to a bribery scandal of Sorenson, who plead guilty to receiving thousands for switching his support from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul in the early primary state’s 2012 presidential election.

Benton is the former campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 2014 Senate campaign, though he stepped down as bribery allegations became public on Aug. 29, 2014.

Since the indictment Benton is on leave from America’s Liberty Political Action Committee, a super PAC supporting Rand Paul’s presidential bid. Benton was also dismissed from the campaign of GOP state auditor candidate Mike Harmon.

Benton is married to the granddaughter of Ron Paul, served as the elder Paul’s political director during his last presidential race and took over Rand Paul’s campaign for U.S. Senate in 2010.


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