Trial begins in Iowa against 2 ex-aides to Ron Paul

AP News
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Posted: Oct 13, 2015 2:25 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal trial has begun in Iowa for two aides to Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign accused of secretly paying a state lawmaker for his endorsement.

Twelve jurors and two alternates were selected Tuesday in Des Moines in the trial of Jesse Benton and Dimitri Kesari. Opening statements were expected later this afternoon.

Benton faces one count of making false statements. Kesari faces five charges, including conspiracy and obstruction. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say the men concealed payments to former Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson after he jumped from the Michele Bachmann campaign to the Paul campaign before the January 2012 Iowa caucuses.

The judge overseeing the trial recently dismissed charges against a third aide to the former Texas congressman, though some could be refiled later.