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GOP operative convicted of facilitating foreign contribution to 2016 Trump campaign

A Republican operative was convicted on Thursday of facilitating an illegal campaign contribution from a Russian national to the Trump campaign in 2016.

The Justice Department touted the jury conviction of Jesse Benton, known for his work on campaigns for GOP Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, in a press release Thursday. The department said Benton “acted as a straw donor and contributed $25,000 of the Russian foreign national’s money to the campaign, falsely identified himself as the contributor and pocketed the remaining $75,000.”

Benton concealed the nationality of the donor from the campaign, according to prosecutors. He will be sentenced in February, according to the DOJ’s press release.

His attorney did not immediately respond to CNN request for comment.

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