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. dikelmm1

    He cast the first stone at Obama, but it turned out to be a boomerang. Couldn't happen to a nicer [fill in the blank]

    May 20, 2014 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Cassy Johnson

    He painted grim America.

    May 20, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. Allabtnews

    Is that another latino getting in trouble with the law? No wait, that's...

    May 20, 2014 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  4. just thinking

    Limbaugh said he was innocent a target of the Obama administration. Why oh why did he plead guilty??
    He must have been guilty
    Ha. so much for the right wing pundits

    May 20, 2014 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  5. David

    "Last week, a judge denied that motion, citing 'no evidence' to support it."
    Little does the judge know that making baseless claims is Dinesh D'Souza's day job.

    May 20, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  6. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    Assuming there's a basis for his claim of selective prosecution the ethical action would be to force the courts to prosecute the others, not to let the criminal they're prosecuting go free. Of course D'Souza isn't ethical-otherwise he wouldn't be in this situation, would he?

    May 20, 2014 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  7. Uthor

    Another great conservative American!

    May 20, 2014 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |

    He should not have tried to act like a Democrat and get around the law. Because, the Democrats do not like it when you do the things they do~!

    May 20, 2014 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  9. Bill Davis

    FoxNews is reporting, it's Obama's fault....

    May 20, 2014 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  10. midwestmatt

    A sociopath who lies to make a living gets caught doing exactly what he claims to be uncovering? Love it. The fact that this guy has made a cottage industry out of lying about Democrats and liberals makes it all the sweeter. He's a hypocrite, an adulterer, a practiced liar, and all those who follow him and believe him for one second are idiots.

    May 20, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  11. MrObvious

    Separate the money from politics. All politicians are grifters with hands out taking only for themselves.
    Make the salaries commensurate with the 99 percenters so the office is not as appealing.
    Also make caneing legal. Ok, just kidding on the last one.

    May 20, 2014 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  12. Marko Polo

    See Dinesh? I told you what would happen if you criticized my president in your book. Now suck it up.

    May 20, 2014 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  13. rdalton60

    Seriously? $20,000 and this is news? We have a President that burns through $20k every minute corruptingly giving it away to his friends, and this guy gets CNNs attention for this petty thing?

    May 20, 2014 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  14. Bob Kebic

    Of course he was unfairly targeted! It's like 99.99% of the politicians out there are not guilty of the same "crime"?!?!

    May 20, 2014 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  15. ZQ

    2016 would've been against the law to make had *CItizens* gone the other way. Which is why you always vote Democrat if you're for Campaign Finance Reform.

    May 20, 2014 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  16. Bob Kebic

    Of course he was unfairly targeted! It's like if 99.99% of the politicians out there are not involved in the same type of thing?!?

    May 20, 2014 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  17. santiagodraco

    This guy is a complete tool. Fast talker with nothing but lies and misdirection. The day he speaks truthfully will be the day we no longer have votes on party lines. Yeah, never going to happen.

    May 20, 2014 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  18. aolllllll

    is anyone surprised.

    May 20, 2014 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  19. reply

    Just Obama going after someone who didn't support him.

    May 21, 2014 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  20. Vusi

    "Christianity teaches that this life is not the only life, and there is a final judgment in which all earthly accounts are settled."

    Dinesh D'Souza

    May 21, 2014 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  21. just me

    It wasn't his fault. He was born without an ethical bone. Or a spine, apparently.

    May 21, 2014 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  22. Flush the US Congress

    What is the Federal government other than an organized international crime syndicate?

    May 21, 2014 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  23. TruthandConsequence

    Preet Bharara vs. Dinesh D'Souza: Your Indian vs our Indian

    May 21, 2014 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  24. Dinesh B

    It's a real shame to see a person who unfortunately shares the same first name as me, demonstrate such dishonesty and a complete lack of integrity. He fully deserves a prison term.

    May 21, 2014 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  25. obidonkenobi

    A master debater for Xtian apologetics, watch D'Souza's debates on YouTube. A typical lying, sleazy, hypocritical Xtian apologist who first took up with a 23 year old girlfriend while still married, and now this. I guess his religion hasn't helped him to be a moral person, and why should it? No matter what he does, even murder, he can always confess his sins and be "forgiven" by his imaginary sky fairy in the end – no harm, no foul, except – it's all quite foul.

    May 21, 2014 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
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