(CNN) The Justice Department on Monday charged two prominent Republican operatives who allegedly helped a Russian citizen illegally donate $25,000 to the Trump campaign in 2016.
Jesse Benton, 43, and Doug Wead, 75, were charged in a six-count indictment and made their first appearance in DC District Court.
They're accused of conspiring to violate campaign finance laws, making an illegal foreign contribution and helping submit false records to the Federal Election Commission.
Prosecutors said Benton and Wead funneled $25,000 from the unnamed Russian donor to the Trump Victory Committee, a joint fundraising venture between then-candidate Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee.
The Russian then attended a September 2016 fundraiser in Philadelphia, where he met Trump and took photos with the future President.
Benton worked for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's 2014 reelection campaign, Sen. Rand Paul's first campaign in 2010 and former Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign in 2012.
Wead was an aide to former President George H.W. Bush, served with Benton on Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign and worked on Rand Paul's Senate reelection campaign in 2016. »