Jury Begins Deliberations in Trial of Former Rand Paul, McConnell Aide

Oct 21, 2015

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A jury has begun deliberations in the federal trial of two aides to Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign who are accused of secretly paying a state lawmaker to endorse their boss. 

One of the men worked for two Kentucky politicians.

Twelve jurors are deliberating in Des Moines, Iowa, in the trial of Jesse Benton and Dimitri Kesari.  Benton, a former campaign chairman for Ron Paul, faces one count of making false statements. Kesari, an ex-deputy campaign manager, faces five charges including conspiracy and obstruction.

Prosecutors say the men concealed payments to former Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson after he jumped from the Michele Bachmann campaign to the Ron Paul campaign. Both have pleaded not guilty. 

Benton also served as campaign manager for Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.  Most recently, he managed the campaign of State Auditor candidate Mike Harmon before he was asked to resign.