Dinesh D'Souza pleads guilty to campaign finance fraud
May 20th, 2014
05:10 PM ET
6 months ago

Dinesh D'Souza pleads guilty to campaign finance fraud

(CNN) – Conservative commentator and author Dinesh D'Souza has pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance law, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

D'Souza, 53, of San Diego, admitted to exceeding donor limits in 2012 by arranging for others to give to the New York Senate campaign of Wendy Long. He also admitted to making false statements about those donations, the office Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

According to the indictment, D’Souza and his wife contributed $10,000 to Long's campaign. He then directed associates to contribute on behalf of themselves and their spouses, totaling $20,000. D'Souza was to reimburse them.

Federal election law limits individual campaign contributions to a federal candidate to $2,500 each for a primary and general election campaign.

The law also bars any person from making contributions in the name of others or reimbursing another person's contribution.

A noted conservative activist, D'Souza is a former policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan.

He also directed a 2012 documentary, "2016: Obama's America," that was highly critical of President Barack Obama and based on his book "The Roots of Obama's Rage."

Long lost to Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012. She and other Republicans, like Sen. Ted Cruz, have argued the government is unfairly targeting D'Souza for his political affiliation.

D'Souza argued for the charges to be dismissed on grounds of selective prosecution. Last week, a judge denied that motion, citing "no evidence" to support it.

“Following the court's ruling denying Dinesh D'Souza's baseless claim of selective prosecution, D'Souza now has admitted, through his guilty plea, what we have asserted all along – that he knowingly and intentionally violated federal election laws," Bharara said in a statement.

"As our Office's record reflects, we will investigate and prosecute violations of federal law, particularly those that undermine the integrity of the democratic electoral process, without regard to the defendant's political persuasion or party affiliation. That is what we did in this case and what we will continue to do.”

D’Souza faces a maximum of two years in prison.


Filed under: Elections
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    Well, yes. There has been a lot of campaign finance shenanigans happening lately. Reminds me of Wall Street.

    Oh, wait ..

    May 20, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Pandamonius

    Two years in prison for this. He'll likely not see a day behind bars because of his "Affluenza".

    American Government for sale, sold.

    May 20, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Good lord another one...,😧

    May 20, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    LOL. Time for the schandefruede dance!

    No, I'm not going to say it's one side or the other pulling this crap, because yes, there are bad actors on each side, but man it's fun to see this clump of filth brought low. D'Souza is a worldclass dirtbag, and now we'll have a conviction to point at as proof.

    May 20, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "schandefruede"

    Lol...typing to fast...that's "schadenfreude" lol

    May 20, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. Voice of Reason

    "...He then directed associates to contribute on behalf of themselves and their spouses, totaling $20,000...." Sounds like a real winner to work for. I wonder how legal the 'political litmus test' to work for this guy is?

    May 20, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Crampon

    He sounds like the kind of guy who would use the IRS against his opponents if he were able. He's basically a minor player version of Obama's type of corruption.

    May 20, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. President Messiah Darkness

    Let this be a lesson to all you out there that would oppose me or say bad things about me. I got more than a pen and a phone. I got the IRS, ATF, FBI, Justice Dept., andmany other agencies I can use to deal with you.

    May 20, 2014 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. boblevel44

    Interesting how Christian apologists rail against immorality, saying only their god can provide a basis for it, and yet they ignore their Bible whenever it gets in the way of their 'worldly' desires.

    May 20, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    The tragic fall of the conservative idol. But, no problem there are 100s who can top him for his malice and ugliness

    May 20, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  11. RobinMO

    This guy has been a fraud for years.

    May 20, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. noteasilyswayed

    all of these dirt bags need to go to prison, regardless of party affiliation. Both sides of the aisle have these advocates that will do whatever they think it'll take to get their "guy or girl" elected.

    May 20, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. emintey

    We need a new book, "The Roots of D'Souza's Rage.

    May 20, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. amy

    Keeping the CON in conservative.

    May 20, 2014 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. Dennis

    Looks like his 2016 came in 2014.A right wing convicted felon working against this country,not for it.

    May 20, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. panorain

    He can become cell-mates with the film-maker for the Innocence of Muslims, who was also not prosecuted for insulting Obama.

    Other than that don't see any reason why the GOP cannot find some Democrat to serve up to justice to even the score. Then of course Eric Holder will decline to prosecute, for yet another burn on the GOP.

    May 20, 2014 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. JeffreyRO5

    If conservatives are so worried about voter fraud, I'm sure they'll applaud the campaign fraud conviction of Mr. D'Souza. Right, conservatives???

    May 20, 2014 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Fr33d0mhawk

    Not the brightest fellow. He could have donated all he wanted to a shadow front that would have spent it on political ads. In the era of unlimited political contributions, Dinesh choked. He is a Republican, and he should know that in order to buy politicians you have to do a little dance around the law and snivel about first amendment rights in order to bribe politicians.

    May 20, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. Winston5

    "The Roots of Obama's Rage"??!! What a lunatic.

    May 20, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. mypitts2

    Somehow the court ignores wild right-wing claims. Good model for others to follow.

    May 20, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. Gurgyl

    These idiots think they are super smart, that is the problem.

    May 20, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. grace

    Hope he learns his lesson. Only donate to liberal causes that grow the government, cuz the IRS sure as hell isn't gonna investigate those.

    May 20, 2014 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. 2_indy1600

    Think the R's and D's have already lowered the bar to "limbo" land. This guy is just small potatoes compared the the rest.

    May 20, 2014 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  24. clubschadenfreude

    so, when does he get nailed for just plain old fraud for his claims about fake medicines

    May 20, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. Rosslaw

    Sheesh, under the Citizens United decision where the "conservatives" on the Supreme Court invented the brand new constitutional fantasy that corporations have First Amendment rights to secretly launder money to candidates a person has to try hard to violate the law. And Voice of Reason raises a good point-how "voluntary" were his employees contributions? Wait til the Supremes rule that corporate employers get to rule over their employees religious and contraceptive rights just like in the 12th century as Madison and Jefferson intended (yeah!)

    May 20, 2014 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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