Pundit Dinesh D’Souza Indicted for Illegal Campaign Donations

The former policy advisor to Ronald Reagan allegedly reimbursed others for contributing up to $20,000 to a Senate candidate

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Ben Hider / Getty Images

Dinesh D'Souza at the "Socrates In The City" Debate at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on March 5, 2012 in New York City.

Updated at 9:05 p.m EST on Jan. 23

Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative writer and filmmaker who took a critical look at Obama’s presidency in 2016: Obama’s America, was indicted Thursday for allegedly violating campaign finance laws.

Federal authorities say D’Souza encouraged other people to donate $20,000 to the campaign of an unnamed candidate, and then reimbursed them. Under Federal law in 2012, campaign donations were capped at $5,000 per donor ($2,500 each for the primary and general election), Reuters reports. D’Souza has been charged with one count of making illegal contributions in the name of others, and one count of causing false statements to be made. The recipient of the allegedly illegal campaign contributions is not named in the indictment.

“As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process,” said U.S. Attorney for Manhattan Preet Bharara in a FBI statement.

D’Souza’s lawyer refuted the charges late Thursday. “It is important to note that the indictment does not allege a corrupt relationship between Mr. D’Souza and the candidate,” Ben Brafman said in a statement reported by MSNBC. “There was never a corrupt agreement of any kind, nor was there any request made that the candidate take any action or refrain from taking any action as a candidate, or as a U.S. Senator, if her political campaign were to have been successful.”

This story has been updated with comments from D’Souza’s lawyer.

[Reuters]

[MSNBC]

21 comments
ravenhairedmaid
ravenhairedmaid

"[U]pdated with comments from D’Souza’s lawyer," but no link to them?  THAT instills confidence.

amigajoe151
amigajoe151

How is describing what the indictment DIDN'T charge a 'refutation'?

grape_crush
grape_crush

> “It is important to note that the indictment does not allege a corrupt relationship between Mr. D’Souza and the candidate,”

No, it is not important to note that. That is irrelevant to the charges against D'Souza, and is an attempt to weaken the severity of the allegations in the minds of the public.

> ...nor was there any request made that the candidate take any action or refrain from taking any action as a candidate, or as a U.S. Senator, if her political campaign were to have been successful.”

"Her political campaign"

From the linked Rueters article:

"D'Souza campaigned in 2012 on behalf of Wendy Long, a lawyer and Republican who sought to unseat Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand as New York's junior senator. Long graduated from Dartmouth College in 1982, a year before D'Souza."

There's a good chance that Long was the candidate and there's ample evidence that there was a fairly tight relationship, considering D'Souza was campaigning for her at the time the illegal donations were made. Had Long succeeded in unseating Gillibrand, D'Souza would have had a Senator practically in his back pocket.

BillPearlman
BillPearlman

He made an anti-Obama movie. In today's America, in Obama's America. He is going to be lucky if they don't execute him

YngwieFM
YngwieFM

The entire conservative movement is a criminal enterprise.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

The party of family values.  What are they, again?

JayArr
JayArr

this is not a surprise.....another rich conservative hits the sleeze button.

repackrider
repackrider

How do people who are wrong all the time earn the title of "pundit?"


Anyway, this is great news.  It could not happen to a more deserving d'oofus.

grape_crush
grape_crush

@DanielDinnell

So? Of the money raised, how much did he personally reimburse to individual contributors, thus indirectly contributing more than the legal amount to a campaign?

Or, as jsfox says, what's your point?

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@grape_crush Things would not have been hard for Dinesh if he had not been so overly critical of Dear Leader. Never thought day would come that freedom would be so blatantly squashed on a selective basis. 

FrankProvasek
FrankProvasek

@BillPearlman    D'Souza not only violated the law, but did so KNOWINGLY.  He KNEW the maximum he could contribute was $5000. But he laundered an illegal $15,000 extra through friends who he caused to PERJURE themselves by signing a statement that they were using their own money, and then lied to election officials.  But once again, when conservatives are caught violating the law, they claim they are VICTIMS.  They are being singled out.  Just like the tea party groups who filed with the IRS as charities when they are clearly involved in partisan politics and should have been denied 501(c)4  approval.

jsfox
jsfox

@BillPearlmanYour ODS seems to have manifested itself as delusional paranoia.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@BillPearlmanNo one is getting executed, however it is amusing how the people most paranoid of conspiracies tend to be the one who actually create conspiracies.

harte.ryan
harte.ryan

@Hollywooddeed The trash bin, until the next election year comes around and the religious base needs another spoonful of platitudes 

BillPearlman
BillPearlman

@FrankProvasek @BillPearlman  Your kidding right, if they looked into Obamas contributors by this standard you could fill a wing of a jail. But with Holder in charge, Never happen