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

    Another cynical manipulator is forced publicly to admit his lack of character. Will this stop people from buying the garbage he writes or listening to him spew it on talk shows and "news" programs ad nauseam? Sadly, no. Will he see his probably-mostly-commuted sentence as an opportunity to think about re-calibrating his moral compass? Probably not. So it makes one wonder, what was the point of spending so many taxpayer dollars on prosecution and court fees and time and energy...if all he gets is an ineffectual slap on the wrist? The system is broken. And self-perpetuating.

    May 20, 2014 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Too bad Christopher Hitchens is not around to witness this new low by this royal d-bag. Christians never cease to amaze me with their hypocrisy.

    May 20, 2014 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. Juanito

    It doesn't matter which party they are from: corruption will always be in politics.

    What's laughable is that supporters from one party will revel when a member from the other party is caught, but turns a blind eye to the shenanigans of his or her own party members.

    Yes, it is a pipe dream, but I truly hope one day that the moral and ethical content of government will begin to take root in this country.

    Is certainly not the case now.

    May 20, 2014 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. Marcus

    Seeing as D'Souza is a christian apologist, and one who has debated Christopher Hitchens (poorly), it's amazing that his faith didn't provide a basis for morality. Oh, wait...

    May 20, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. rob15

    Courteous discussion? No, to call D'Souza a clump of filth and a world-class dirtbag isn't courteous in the least. Real easy to call names, Sniffit; harder to argue politics or anything else with class and respect for the other. Grow up, please, and play by the Rules of Conduct you agree to respect by participating.

    May 20, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. kevin

    At this point what difference does it make ?

    May 20, 2014 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  7. Denmeister

    What? A talking head and political commentator and operative who is a liar and a cheat too? Dear me. Who'd have thunk it. ?

    May 20, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  8. Frank Balibundi

    Good for that wretch ! Conserving what ? He has just been carrying water for a group that would have never let him through the front door just a genear

    May 20, 2014 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  9. John

    OK, so it sounds like he broke the law. But really, why does the government get to say how much someone can give to someone else. As long as it's done voluntarily, it's no one else's business. Oh, wait! You're saying politicians can be bought, and favors granted as a result. OK, now you're talking about the real problem.

    May 20, 2014 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. David

    I wonder if Dinesh will make a sequel to his movie which irrationally criticized President Obama? Maybe call it "2014: D'Souza's American Federal Campaign Finance Fraud Conviction".

    May 20, 2014 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  11. David

    Or maybe he could write a follow-up to his book about Mr. Obama, and call it "The Roots of D'Souza's Rage."

    May 20, 2014 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  12. Dinesh

    Well deserved for his "Big Mouth"

    May 20, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  13. lean6

    And here, after releasing that right wing nonsense movie about Obama, I thought he was an honest guy full of integrity. (sarc) Roll the credits.

    May 20, 2014 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. ldean50

    There's a defense to be shared by many... lol... I'm just being arrested because I'm a Republican. lol

    May 20, 2014 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. lean6

    Maybe he can write to the President asking for a pardon.

    May 20, 2014 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  16. bubba, loyal republican

    Deport him, he don't look right!

    May 20, 2014 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  17. bubba, loyal republican

    Wait, how much money does he have.

    May 20, 2014 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  18. v2787

    Just another in a long string of self-righteous right wing hypocrites. Nothing new about that.

    May 20, 2014 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  19. Rick

    Real jail time will stop this type of thing and make others think twice.

    May 20, 2014 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  20. not really news

    But officer.. everyone else was speeding and you picked me out because you hate red cars.!!!!

    May 20, 2014 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  21. Socalmcgraw

    So hows the classical conservatism and ancient virtue working for you. Seems his Ivy League education and profession of being moral are only applicable in certain circumstances.

    May 20, 2014 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  22. A. Citizen

    Dinesh, looks like your IQ falls in the 85 range. Will you be seeking a pardon from the high IQ President Obama? Congratulations! The chickens have come home to roost for you. After seeing your movie and reading your "conservative" books, I believe an advanced degree from the Penal System will enhance your curriculum vitae. Best wishes!!

    May 20, 2014 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  23. Help America return to Greatness

    This guy thinks he is better than everyone else and never expected to get caught. I seriously hope they throw the book at him. Time to lock people up for this crap. The average voter is drowned out because of soft money contributions, PACS, and lobbies.

    Max sentence please.

    May 20, 2014 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  24. Frank Balibundi

    Good for that wretch ! Conserving what ? He has just been carrying water for a group that would have never let him through the front door just a generation ago !

    May 20, 2014 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  25. JL

    "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.”

    -Is this statement some kind of joke? Who has gone to jail for the IRS targeting scandal. Who's gone to jail for fudging the unemployment numbers right before the 2012 election? Who's gone to jail for the Benghazi cover up? Well, one guy I guess, the guy who made the video serving as Benghazi's scapegoat. None of that stuff counts as fraud I guess. It's becoming very apparent that if you hold conservative views, you better walk a very straight line. Meanwhile our president encourages the non-enforcement of immigration laws....

    May 20, 2014 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
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