Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Kristi Paul

Trump pardons Dinesh D'Souza, says lifestyle maven Stewart may be next

Trump pardons Dinesh D'Souza, says lifestyle maven Stewart may be next

Conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D'Souza received a full pardon from President Trump yesterday after pleading guilty to felony charges of violating campaign finance laws back in 2014. And he said that I got to tell you man-to-man have you been screwed. Fitzgerald, named special counsel by Comey to investigate the unauthorized leak of the identity of an undercover Central Intelligence Agency agent, also won the conviction of Libby, a top aide to then-Vice President Dick Cheney, for obstruction of justice and perjury in that case in 2007. An Indian-American political commentator, D'Souza has always been known for his bombastic political manifestos targeting figures like former President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The conservative D'Souza gained notoriety for his anti-Obama stance that was the basis of his 2012 documentary 2016: Obama's America. Critics have slammed him for promoting questionable propositions in his books and movies, such as the idea that slaves were treated "pretty well" and a 2010 Forbes cover story that argues Obama had been "the most antibusiness president in a generation" and driven by a "socialist" and "anticolonialist" agenda.

Trump did not explain what he meant by saying that D'Souza had been treated unfairly, but the White House put out a statement saying that "D'Souza was, in the President's opinion, a victim of selective prosecution for violations of campaign finance laws".

D'Souza admitted to having illegally used straw donors to contribute to a Republican Senate candidate in NY in 2012.

"Worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs", D'Souza tweeted next to a photo of students disappointed by the Florida legislature's failure to approve a ban on assault weapons.

D'Souza pleaded guilty in 2014 after the court rejected his argument that he had been selectively targeted and was sentenced to five years in probation that involved mandatory community service and counseling.

Preet Bharara, who prosecuted D'Souza as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, was quick to respond to Trump's tweet on Thursday, noting that D'Souza "intentionally broke the law, voluntarily pled guilty, apologized for his conduct, and the judge found no unfairness".

Mr Trump has pardoned other notable conservatives convicted of various offences.

"The President has the right to pardon but the facts are these", Bharara said. In D'Souza's case, diGenova said, the president had good cause. Blagojevich, who once appeared as a guest on Trump's 2010 "Celebrity Apprentice" show, has been in prison since 2012.

"We are all so grateful that the president is thinking of us in this way", she said. "She used to be my biggest fan in the world", Trump said. "The framers introduced the separation of powers that we have in our Constitution and they designed the pardon power as a check on the legislative and judicial authorities".

In February, D'Souza apologized for mocking Parkland, Florida, high school students who were upset after the Florida House voted down a proposed ban on a type of semi-automatic rifles known as assault weapons.

His tweets about the Parkland students have been sharply criticized by some Florida Republicans, including Gov. Rick Scott. Scott, who is running for U.S. Senate, has not yet said if he will attend.

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