| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Trump 2016 campaign: Two charged by US Justice Deptt for funnelling $25,000 from Russian national

The Us Justice Department has charged two prominent Republican operatives, who allegedly helped a Russian national illegally donate $25,000 to the Trump campaign in 2016.

In a six-count indictment, 43-year-old Jesse Benton and 75-year-old Doug Wead were charged. They made their first appearance in DC District Court.

These operatives have been accused of making an illegal foreign contribution, conspiring to violate campaign finance laws and helping submit false records to the Federal Election Commission. The information about their defence attorneys was not available.

Benton and Wead funnelled $25,000 from an unnamed Russian donor to the Trump Victory Committee, a joint fundraising venture between then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee, said the prosecutors.

The Russian national had then attended a fundraiser in Philadelphia in September 2016, where he met Trump and took photos with him.

In the court filings, there is no indication that the case is connected to the special counsel investigation, which examined the many ties between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. It says Trump’s campaign was not aware that the money came from a foreign national.

As per the indictment, the Russian wired $100,000 to a company that Benton owned. He kept $75,000 and donated $25,000 to the Trump Victory Committee. The indictment does not name Trump or the committee.