CHICAGO (CBS) — President Trump announced on Thursday his decision to pardon Dinesh D’Souza, an author, filmmaker and conservative commentator. Here are five fast facts about D’Souza and the presidential pardon.
1. In 2014, D’Souza was accused of making illegal contributions in the names of others, according to CBS News. The illegal contributions involved “straw donors” who contributed funds to Wendy Long, a Republican running in the Senate race in New York against Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand.
“They’re saying I violated the election laws by giving $20,000 to a candidate that was running for Senate in New York. The candidate, Wendy Long, is a college friend of mine that I’ve known for 30 years, so they’re not alleging that I had corrupt motive or intent, that I was trying to do any quid pro quo, they’re just saying that I gave more than I was allowed to give, and as a result of that, I’m facing very serious prison time,” Talk Radio 1210 WPHT reported in 2014.
2. D’Souza pleaded guilty in a New York federal court. CBS New York reported that D’Souza admitted to getting two close associates to make $10,000 contributions. He was sentenced to eight months in a halfway house in San Diego, California, and five years probation. The judge also ordered D’Souza to get therapeutic counseling.
3. In 2012, D’Souza’s documentary, “2016: Obama’s America,” became an unexpected hit. The film suggested that Obama had an anti-American agenda that was influenced by his Kenyan father, according to CBS News. D’Souza asserted during the case against him that he was unfairly targeted because of his anti-Obama views, reported WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell.
4. “It was a very stupid, really bad idea” to violate campaign finance laws, D’Souza admitted when he pleaded guilty, according WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell. According to Cornell’s report, Federal Judge Richard Berman said at the time, “I believe I’ve figured out a little bit more about this defendant. He’s a talker, a compulsive talker. He doesn’t listen.”
5. On Thursday President Trump tweeted that he was pardoning D’Souza. “Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!” D’Souza is an outspoken supporterof Mr. Trump.