Republican Party operatives charged with arranging illegal Trump campaign contribution

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to media at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., July 7, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

WASHINGTON, Sept 20 (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Monday unsealed criminal charges against two longtime Republican Party operatives, accusing them of illegally funneling a foreign campaign contribution to former President Donald Trump in 2016.

According to an indictment unsealed in federal court in the District of Columbia, Jesse Benton and Doug Wead "conspired to illegally funnel thousands of dollars of foreign money from a Russian foreign national into an election for the Office of President of the United States of America."

U.S. law bans foreign nationals from donating money to presidential campaigns.

According to the indictment, Benton and Wead helped a Russian national get a ticket to a fundraiser with Trump in Pennsylvania in September 2016.

The Russian, who was not identified in the indictment, donated $25,000 to political action committees associated with Trump in order to attend the event, according to prosecutors.

But the true source of the donation was concealed from the Trump campaign, the indictment said, because the payment was secretly funneled through Benton, who acted as a "straw donor."

Benton, 43, previously managed campaigns for Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky before he was convicted for his role in a political endorsement scheme. Benton avoided jail time and received a presidential pardon in December 2020 from Trump.

Wead, 75, worked as a senior adviser on multiple presidential campaigns and ran for Congress as a Republican in 1992.

It was not yet clear if the two had engaged legal counsel.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Comments / 1434


so Trump is still getting money from the Russians. and Eric Trump is trying to put the blame on Hillary Clinton for starting rumors about Trump and a Russian bank. he also said he sees corruption every day. he should, he's right in the middle of it.

Ultimate One⚓

And the house of Trump comes tumbling down! It won't be long folks, before we see an indictment on Donald J Trump! He is going to get his up and coming soon !

Henry. HH.

It's not surprise at all. It's very lucky that American people voted him out. Otherwise, America may under control of Russia & China. The Trump White House is the corrupted house in American. history.


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