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Head of Rand Paul super-PAC indicted


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250325-three-ex-ron-paul-staffers-indicted-on-campaign-conspiracyThe Hill :

The FBI has charged three members of former Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign with conspiracy, including Jesse Benton, who now runs the pro-Rand Paul super-PAC America’s Liberty.


According to the indictment, Benton, Paul’s former Campaign Manager John Tate, and former Deputy Campaign Manager Dimitrios Kesari arranged payments of more than $70,000 to former Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson to switch his endorsement from former Rep. Michele Bachmann, who was also running for president at the time.


The three have been charged with conspiracy, submitting false campaign expenditure reports and submitting false records to obstruct an investigation. Benton has also been charged with making false statements to the FBI.


An email to Benton, who had served as a top adviser to Ron Paul during the 2012 campaign, has not been returned.

“Federal campaign finance laws are intended to ensure the integrity and transparency of the federal election process,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a statement. “When political operatives make under-the-table payments to buy an elected official’s political support, it undermines public confidence in our entire political system.”

According to the indictment, the three men allegedly transferred payments to Sorenson by recording the expenses in Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings as audiovisual-related purchases that first passed through a production company before getting transferred to an account controlled by Sorenson.

Sorenson pleaded guilty to contributing to false FEC reports and obstruction of justice in 2014.Scissors-32x32.png

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Rand Paul faces emerging doubts at home

Paul has been furiously lobbying Kentucky Republican leaders ahead of an Aug. 22 decision to rewrite party rules so he can run for president and reelection to his Senate seat simultaneously.

Kyle Cheney and Manu Raju





Now the bad news: Paul’s woeful month could get even worse.


Paul has been furiously lobbying Kentucky Republican leaders ahead of an Aug. 22 decision to rewrite party rules so he can run for president and reelection to his Senate seat simultaneously, a hedge to hold onto power should his Oval Office aspirations falter. Running for the two offices at once creates tricky legal hurdles that are only surmountable with the assent of the Kentucky Republican Party’s leadership and central committee.


Though that approval once seemed assured, several members of the party executive committee told POLITICO they’re seeing increasing trepidation, in part because of Paul’s perceived fade from contention but also because he hasn’t yet fulfilled promises to cover the cost of any changes.


“I think it’s fair to say that among members of this committee that they’re always aware of the financial impact of anything new on the organization that they serve,” said state GOP chairman Steve Robertson. “I think it’s pretty fair to say that members of the committee think this thing could be anywhere from $400,000 to $600,000. That’s obviously something that weighs appropriately on the minds of the folks on the committee.”





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