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Jesse Benton Acquitted in Campaign Fraud Case

A former aide to Paul was acquitted on charges that he lied to FBI agents. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
A former aide to Paul was acquitted on charges that he lied to FBI agents. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Jesse Benton, a longtime ally of Sen. Rand Paul, was acquitted Thursday on charges tied to a campaign fraud case surrounding former Rep. Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign, according to the Des Moines Register .  

Benton was caught up in a scandal, in which a former Iowa state senator admitted to taking $73,000 in payments from Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in exchange for switching his endorsement to Paul from then-Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. Benton had served as Paul’s campaign chairman in 2012, but maintained his innocence in the ordeal.  

At the time the scandal broke in August 2014, Benton was serving as campaign manager for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s 2014 re-election bid. Benton resigned from McConnell’s campaign when the news of the scandal came to light.  

This cycle, Benton had been working on a Rand Paul-aligned super PAC — America’s Liberty PAC — but stepped away from the organization when his indictments came down.  

Earlier in October, a federal judge dropped most of the charges levied against Benton, leaving just one: lying to federal investigators.  

When leaving the courtroom after his acquittal, Benton told a reporter for the Des Moines Register, “God is Great.”


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