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Ron Paul Staffers Stand Trial, Again

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IOWA PUBLIC RADIO / SARAH BODEN
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Three senior staffers from Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign will stand trial at the federal district court in Des Moines Tuesday. The charges stem from $73,000 in alleged under-the-table payments to former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson for his endorsement of Paul.

This is the second trial for the trio.

In October, a jury hung on three counts for Deputy Campaign Manager Demitri Kesari on charges of conspiracy, causing false campaign contribution reports and obstruction of justice. Kesari was found guilty of a fourth charge, causing financial records to be falsely reported to the Federal Election Commission. He could spend up to two decades in prison.

Kesari’s alleged coconspirators are Campaign Manager John Tate and Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton. Benton was acquitted a single charge, lying to an FBI agent, and Tate’s charges were dismissed.

The government successfully resubmitted charges against both men. Tate and Benton’s new charges include conspiracy to defraud the United States, causing false records, causing false campaign contribution reports and false statements scheme.

These indictments are amended after it was ruled before the first trial that the government violated Tate and Benton’s immunity agreements.  

Last week a judge denied Tate’s motion to be tried separately. Tate says this will likely stop Kesari from giving testimony that he says would prove him innocent.