A former aide for the Republican Party was charged Thursday for playing a part in funneling foreign cash donations from a Russian national into a presidential campaign back in 2016, according to a press release that was published by the Justice Department.
Jessie Benton, 45, from Woodlands, Texas, is looking at potentially spending the next two decades behind bars for allegedly conspiring to solicit an illegal campaign contribution, editing a conduit contribution, and causing false records to be filed with the Federal Elections Commission.
“Benton cooperated with a Russian foreign national Roman Vasilenko to orchestrate a meet-and-greet with former president, then presidential candidate, Donald Trump, and received a $100,000 campaign contribution in return,” the Daily Caller reported.
Benton then went on to contribute $25,000 of the donation to the campaign, falsely stating that he was the donor before stuffing the remaining $75,000 in his own pocket.
“Benton hid the identity and nationality of the contributor from Trump’s campaign while setting up the event, where the Russian national received a picture with Trump,” the report continued. “Vasilenko was a Russian naval officer who later became a multilevel marketer, according to The Washington Post. Vasilenko is currently under investigation in Russia for allegedly running a pyramid scheme.”
So far, Benton is still saying he’s innocent and has revealed plans to appeal, his lawyer told the Washington Post.
Political Consultant Convicted for Scheme Involving Illegal Foreign Campaign Contribution to 2016 Presidential Campaignhttps://t.co/uHbRwptZnR
— Criminal Division (@DOJCrimDiv) November 17, 2022
Back in 2012, Benton, who seems to be a repeat offender, was convicted of funneling money away from Ron Paul’s presidential campaign after filing false statements concerning money transfers to a politician located in Iowa. Benton also served as an aide for current Senate Minority Leader Chuck McConnell and Republican Sen. Rand Paul.
Trump issued Benton a pardon for his 2012 conviction while he was in office.
Man, this guy just does not learn, does he? What can you do with a guy who doesn’t seem to understand or grasp the fact his behavior is illegal and unethical? The only thing you really can do is send them up river and hope for the best.
If this were a one-time thing you could potentially make the case that Benton was just enticed by momentary greed, but it seems pretty clear he has a problem. It’s important for conservatives to be consistent and clean up our own ranks.
Liberals don’t do this. They make excuses for their own people and will do anything to clear them of wrongdoing or just simply pretend what the person is accused of never happened.
We currently have a man in the Oval Office who might have orchestrated business deals with his son in which he sold political access to himself as the vice president to foreign nationals. There is actual evidence these things transpired. And yet, we have not seen these individuals brought to justice. Progressives are deeply entrenched in the Justice Department and up until now, both chambers of Congress were controlled by Democrats.
Now there’s a chance to investigate that situation. However, Republicans called out the left for not holding their own accountable to the law. We would be hypocrites if we did not do the same.