(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.