LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Former Aide To Rand Paul Acquitted In Corruption Probe

Jesse Benton, a long-time adviser to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also worked on campaigns of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tx., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Jesse Benton, a long-time adviser to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has been acquitted in a federal corruption probe of former Rep. Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign.

A jury in Des Moines, Iowa, found Benton not guilty of lying to FBI agents when interviewed about pay-offs made by the campaign of Ron Paul, who is the father of Sen. Paul, after the 2012 Iowa caucuses. The jury found another campaign staffer, Dimitri Kesari, guilty of causing the campaign to file false reports with the Federal Election Commission. But Kesari was acquitted on a second charge, and the jury couldn't reach verdicts on three others.

Earlier, a judge had dismissed other charges against Benton and all charges against a third Paul ally. John Tate managed Ron Paul's 2012 campaign and founded America's Liberty, a superPAC currently backing Rand Paul's presidential bid.

Benton was chairman of Ron Paul's 2012 campaign. He managed Rand Paul's 2010 Senate campaign in Kentucky, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign last year. This year, Benton was running America's Liberty superPAC. He's also part of the Paul family; his wife is Ron Paul's grand-daughter and Rand Paul's niece.

Ron Paul and Rand Paul both said the indictments were timed to damage Rand Paul just before a Republican presidential debate.

The case revolved around former Iowa state senator Kent Sorenson. In 2011, he was the salaried state chairman for GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann. Weeks before the Iowa caucuses in January 2012, he abandoned Bachmann to support Ron Paul.

Sorenson later said the Paul campaign paid him $73,000 to switch, and he pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges. A grand jury indicted Benton, Tate and Kesari in 2014, alleging the Ron Paul campaign had concealed the purpose of the payments and the three politicos had tried to cover up the episode.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)