Dinesh D'Souza pleads guilty to campaign finance fraud
May 20th, 2014
05:10 PM ET
8 years 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.

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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. Roger Steinberg

    Ahhh yes the great mr conservative Dinesen d'souza. Mr family values. Who went around proud to be a Christian. Head of a Christian college yet at the same time had mistress. What a weasel lol

    May 20, 2014 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. James Foley

    I watched this guy's movie. It was just another whackadoodle spinning things his way. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    May 20, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. david saint

    lol hey tea publicans..whats that again about him really being innocent, and being a victim of retaliation for his crap movie?? yea, what I thought. Guilty! now zip it. Its nothing compared to whats going on in NC, where the GOP has attacked the 1st Amendment!

    May 20, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. DAVID

    isnt this the same guy who madee a very evil movie about our president? caught in fraud? lol hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...seems Obamas enemies always meet the crap bucket hahahahahahahahahahaha, hope they throw him in a cell with no windows hahahahahahahahahaha

    May 20, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. DemsAllTheWay

    This is the equivalent of pulling over Alec Baldwin on his bike and of course if he didn't make that movie he wouldn't have been targeted. Did Obama put any of those Wall Street crooks in jail yet?

    May 20, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. Thomas

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

    The BJP party will rule the world !

    May 20, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Strategist

    The man is a useful idiot. How anyone takes him seriously is beyond me! They keep giving him all these lofty titles, which they use to manipulate the idiot into doing their dirty work they lack the fortitude to carry out themselves. He is a complete dunce! Unfortunately, the reality is that both sides do the same thing he did but he got caught.

    May 20, 2014 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. tbone

    Now lets see if we get any honesty from the Democrats that violated the law..... Nope.

    May 20, 2014 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. Steph M

    Too funny. Make things up all day long, including stuff that gets you tossed in jail, like lying. Couldn't happen to a better guy.

    May 20, 2014 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. Steph M

    Sorry I was laughing too hard when I hit the publish button but you know what I mean...

    May 20, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. smith

    "There is no way to know actual numbers of small vs big donors in regards to either party."

    Yes, there is. Stop making things up.

    "if you really think the majority of the Dems funds come from little people you are dreaming."

    I guess we're dreaming then, because it's consistently shown to be the case...over and over and over again...and, considering the fact that you're living in a fantasy if you think there's "no way to know" (see above), it's not really up for debate.

    "The only explanation would be both parties are funded by fat cats and small donors but the fat cats are way smaller in number and more important."

    Taken out of the context of your other statements, which were incorrect, that one sentence is true.

    First of all, if you had any facts to back up your claims you would have put them up for display.
    Second, you totally cut out an important part of my comment where I stated that the rich always outspend the poor with regards to fundraising(common sense)..
    Third, if you have facts or proof that the majority of fundraising for Democrats is by the little people lets see them instead going around saying stop making things up.

    May 20, 2014 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. Just Sayin'

    Hey, I'm sure D'Souza's negative portrayal of Obama had nothing to do with investigating him in particular. *wink*

    May 20, 2014 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. JohnRJohnson

    This is the same guy who produced a film about the President that was a pack of innuendo, exaggerations, and misinformation.

    May 20, 2014 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  14. RDA

    D'Souza has always been petty, obnoxious, entirely humorless, and intellectually barren. He was on Maher's show last week and it was almost sad to see him have to admit how wrong he has been about Obama, and how obviously his legal difficulties were weighing on him. But that didn't stop him from claiming that he knows how the "liberal mind" works. As if all "liberal minds" are the same. Maybe in his party it's a requirement for everybody to think and talk the exact same; I wouldn't pretend to know. But I can't say I'm sorry he's going to jail. One less idiot pontificating inanely through the media.

    May 20, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. jason

    Another GOPer exposed. A party with a culture of corruption

    May 20, 2014 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. Yakobi

    This guy gets what he deserves, but I wonder...given this administration's track record on punishing those responsible for scandals such as the IRS targeting conservative groups and the VA making veterans wait for appointments until they die, would they have been so eager to prosecute this guy had he given to democrats instead of republicans?

    May 20, 2014 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. Chuck

    Why did Harry Reid and Pelosi illegally use the Capitol Building to show Anti-Koch/GOP Movie?

    May 20, 2014 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. brsinai

    Funny how relentless BHO's administration was with "getting" this guy. Coincidentally, this guy also made an unflattering movie about BHO. Of course, the two are not connected……at least not to liberals.

    May 20, 2014 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  19. chris

    schadenfreude is my favorite German word. and English word.

    D'Souza is one of my least favorite words.

    May 20, 2014 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  20. JM

    Rightwingers are so easily duped.

    May 20, 2014 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. Art

    Isn't the same guy who went on a sleep away with a woman who was not his wife while he was engaged to yet another woman while he was president of a Christian college while professing family values. Is that that guy? The anti-Obama flamer? Gee whiz

    May 20, 2014 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. Wallaceboy

    Bet he is wishing he was a Democrat! Life is tough these days when you are a critic of our Imperial President. The list of Democratic missteps on campaign finance is long but what action do we see? Zero. Most dictators deal with the opposition in the same way. Be careful, right of center - the secret police have your number.

    May 20, 2014 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  23. knowtat

    Really you don't say?!

    May 20, 2014 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. David

    The most disturbing part of this story is that D'Souza is another in a long line of "Christian" political activists who have been exposed as committing fraud, or simply being a fraud. It should be a cautionary tale to all when someone of this ilk mixes faith and politics. Anyone who really grasps the teaching of the historical Jesus of Nazareth would understand that Jesus TOTALLY SHUNNED THE POLITICAL WORLD OF HIS DAY, and taught his followers that His kingdom is not of this world. Beware of the D'Souza's of the world, who will use Christianity as a platform for building wealth and political influence when the very One they claim to follow taught AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT VALUE SYSTEM. If you don't believe me, find your old Bible, blow the dust off of it, and read Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7. THAT is Biblical Christianity, from the mouth of Jesus himself. Anything else is a fraud.

    May 20, 2014 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. De Odorizer

    Been following his "career" since the mid 90s. I heard him at a conference then and it only confirmed what I had thought already:
    He was and is a mouth piece. No real credentials other than a "believer's zeal", shoddy argumentation, no substance, and a really slick lightweight kind of trying to pull the wool over your head.
    Forget the fact that he was a "college president" for about 9 month, a religious urban college with about 10 classrooms and , again, no substance. Then he was dismissed from that position when it became clear that he pampered his CV.

    He still is a lightweight and culture warrior. He's more "American" than most Americans, bought it all, hook, line and sinker.

    The sad part is that he doesn't even understand how he was being used.. Sad story.

    May 20, 2014 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
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