Trump to Pardon Indian American Conservative Commentator Sentenced for Campaign Finance Fraud
US President Donald Trump said that that Dinesh D’Souza had not been treated fairly by his government in a post on the social media.
Indian American commentator, filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted for making an illegal campaign contribution, would be granted full pardon, U.S. President Donald Trump said on May 31. D’Souza had not been treated fairly by the government, Trump added.
The pardon was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Mr. D’Souza was, in the President’s opinion, a victim of selective prosecution for violations of campaign finance laws. Mr. D’Souza accepted responsibility for his actions, and also completed community service by teaching English to citizens and immigrants seeking citizenship,” Sanders said in a statement, CNBC reported.
Trump also announced the decision on the social media.
Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
D’Souza is an author of many best-sellers. In 2012, his movie, 2016: Obama’s America, based on his book that was against former U.S. President Barack Obama, became the second highest-grossing political documentary film produced in the United States.
In 2014, the Mumbai-born Conservative filmmaker pleaded guilty for reimbursing two of his associates after he instructed them to contribute $10,000 each to the 2012 U.S. Senate campaign of Wendy Long in New York. D’Souza admitted to knowing that his actions were a violation of the law, CNBC reported.
When he made the contributions, the U.S. Federal Election Campaign Act barred individual citizens from making a donation of over $5,000 to a single candidate.
D’Souza was then sentenced to five years of probation, with eight months in the first year to be served in a community confinement center. He was sentenced in Manhattan federal court, and the conviction was announced by the then U.S. attorney Preet Bharara.
“Dinesh D’Souza attempted to illegally contribute over $10,000 to a Senate campaign, willfully undermining the integrity of the campaign finance process. Like many others before him, of all political stripes, he has had to answer for this crime — here with a felony conviction,” Bharara had then said in a statement.
Trump’s move did not go down well with Bharara, who took to the social media saying, “D’Souza intentionally broke the law.”
The President has the right to pardon but the facts are these: D'Souza intentionally broke the law, voluntarily pled guilty, apologized for his conduct & the judge found no unfairness. The career prosecutors and agents did their job. Period. https://t.co/bA3I8vs4QQ via @politico
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) May 31, 2018
Bharara was removed from the position by Trump soon after he took over as the president. The lawyer’s post on Twitter sparked a spat between him and D’Souza, who also tweeted in response.
KARMA IS A BITCH DEPT: @PreetBharara wanted to destroy a fellow Indian American to advance his career. Then he got fired & I got pardoned
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) May 31, 2018
Bharara’s post also led to many people questioning Trump’s move, with some saying that the rule of law in the United States remains under attack, along with the institutions that support it.
An immoral man has pardoned another immoral man. Our rule of law remains under attack along with the institutions that support them. We need change. #GOTV in November. (And thank you @PreetBharara for your podcast!)
— (((Howard Forman))) (@thehowie) May 31, 2018