Trump to pardon conservative commentator convicted of campaign finance violations
UpdatedTrump to pardon conservative commentator convicted of campaign finance violationsU.S. President Donald Trump says he will grant a full pardon to conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who was sentenced in 2014 to five years of probation for federal campaign law violations.
53-year-old admitted to illegally reimbursing 'straw donors' for 2012 Senate candidate in New YorkDinesh D'Souza leaves federal court in New York on Sept. 23, 2014, after being sentenced to eight months in community confinement and to therapeutic counselling for arranging 'straw donors' for a Senate candidate. (Larry Neumeister/Associated Press)
U.S. President Donald Trump said he will grant a full pardon on Thursday to conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who was sentenced in 2014 to five years of probation for federal campaign law violations.
Trump made the announcement Thursday morning on Twitter.
D'Souza, 53, admitted in May 2014 that he illegally reimbursed two "straw donors" who donated $10,000 US each to the unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in New York of Wendy Long, a Republican he had known since attending Dartmouth College in the early 1980s.
At the time, the government said a prison sentence of 10 months to 16 months was appropriate for D'Souza, and necessary to deter others from abusing the election process, including "well-heeled individuals who are tempted to use their money to help other candidates."
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D'Souza waited to "the last possible moment" prior to trial before admitting guilt, the government said, and then went on television shows and the internet to say he was "selectively" targeted for prosecution, and had little choice but to plead
The case against D'Souza, a critic of Democratic former president Barack Obama, prompted some conservatives to accuse the government of selective prosecution. The prosecutor in the case, then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan, was an Obama appointee.
D'Souza was born in Mumbai and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1991. He wrote the bestsellers The Roots of Obama's Rage in 2010 and America: Imagine a World Without Her this year, and in 2012 co-directed the film 2016: Obama's America.
Trump has issued several other pardons during his presidency.
Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed & quot;toughest sheriff in America," received one last August, less than a month after he was convicted of criminal contempt in a case involving his department's racial profiling policy.
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In April, Trump pardoned I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, a former top aide to one-time vice-president Dick Cheney.
Libby was convicted of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice following the 2003 leak of the covert identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame. President George W. Bush later commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence, but didn't issue a pardon despite intense pressure from Cheney. No one was ever charged for the leak.
And last week, Trump granted a rare posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, boxing's first black heavyweight champion. The pardon clear ed Johnson's name more than 100 years after what many viewed as his racially charged conviction in 1913 for traveling with his white girlfriend.
With files from The Associated PressReport Typo or Error|Send Feedback
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