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Campaign Aide Who Worked For Rand Paul And Mitch McConnell Charged With Funneling Russian Money Into US Election

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Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell

A former campaign staffer of GOP Senator Rand Paul who Donald Trump pardoned before leaving office, has been charged with directing Russian money into the 2016 presidential election, the US Department of Justice said Monday.

Citing an unsealed indictment, dated September 9, Business Insider reports that Jesse Benton “conspired to illegally funnel thousands of dollars of foreign money from a Russian foreign national” into the campaign.

Prosecutors allege that “in October 2016, Benton received a $100,000 wire transfer from the unnamed Russian national. He was allegedly promised that he would get to “meet a celebrity” at a Philadelphia fundraiser on September 22, 2016.

The indictment does not name the candidate, but former President Donald Trump was hosting a fundraiser that night at the Ritz-Carlton in Center City, Philadelphia.

Benton was convicted of campaign finance crimes related to his role on the Ron Paul campaign in 2016, but was pardoned by Trump right before he left office.

He also managed Senator Mitch McConnell’s 2014 campaign, according to the report.

Read the full report on Business Insider.