Prosecutors argued that the three paid former Senator Kent Sorenson through a third-party video production company in an effort to hide the payment.
Defense attorney Jesse Binnall says there will be an appeal based on what the Federal Election Commission has said about reporting such payments. “Under federal elections regulations and laws, whether anything that any of these guys was accused of doing is actually illegal. And the federal election commission has been clear that it’s not, nothing that they did was wrong,” Binnall says.
Campaign Director John Tate, Campaign Chair Jesse Benton and Campaign Deputy Director Dimitri Kesari were convicted of charges that included conspiracy, causing false records and causing false campaign expenditure reporting.
Government prosecutors say the men threw sand in the eyes of Iowa voters and made a mockery out of the truth. But Binnall says this verdict isn’t the final word.
“We maintain that they’re innocent and we hope that in the long run that justice and the law prevails,” Binnall says. This was the second trial in this case. An October trial ended in a jury hung. This time around jurors reached a conclusion after about eight hours of deliberations. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
Thanks to Sarah Boden, Iowa Public Radio.