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.