Paul Allies Plead Not Guilty to Hiding Campaign Payments

Jesse Benton and John Tate, two supporters of Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul, have pleaded not guilty to federal charges stemming from the 2012 White House bid by Ron Paul, father of the Ky. senator.

  • Benton, Tate entered not guilty pleas in U.S. district court in Des Moines to charges including conspiracy and engaging in scheme to make false statements to FEC
    • They remain free on personal recognizance bond
    • Trial for all 3 defendants in case tentatively set for Oct. 5
  • Benton’s lawyer declined to comment, as did U.S. assistant attorney Richard Pilger
  • NOTE: Indictment alleged that Kent Sorenson, then an Iowa state senator, in 2011 negotiated with defendants to switch support to Ron Paul from Michele Bachmann in GOP presidential race, in return for hidden payments.
  • NOTE: Benton was lead strategist for America’s Liberty PAC, super-PAC backing Rand Paul’s 2016 campaign; he’s taking leave from group
    • NOTE: Tate was Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign manager, also was involved with America’s Liberty PAC
Earlier: Head of Super-PAC Backing Rand Paul Indicted in Iowa Caucuses Campaign Scheme

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