President Trump announced Thursday he will pardon conservative filmmaker Dinesh Dâ€™Souza, who was convicted of making an illegal campaign contribution in 2014.
â€œWill be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh Dâ€™Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!â€ the president tweeted Thursday morning.
Dâ€™Souza pleaded guilty in 2014 for donating $20,000 to New York politician Wendy Long, allegedly going over the limit by directing other donors to give to her. He was sentenced to five years of probation and eight months in a halfway house, and paid a $30,000 fine.
Despite his guilty plea, Dâ€™Souza and his allies have claimed for years that he was unfairly singled out for prosecution, and unfairly treated by the Obama administration.
The conservative filmmaker in 2012 made a hit anti-Obama documentary called â€œ2016: Obamaâ€™s America.â€ The film examined then-President Obamaâ€™s past and early influences that may have shaped his political ideology.
Dâ€™Souzaâ€™s 2014 indictment was announced by then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was appointed by Obama, and fired in 2017 by Trump. The indictment stated that Dâ€™Souza was charged with one count of illegally donating to a Senate campaign and one count of causing false statements to be made to authorities in connection with the contributions.
I did not vote for Trump in 2016. But, if he runs for re-election in 2020, he definitely has my vote.
Trump has the guts to stand up and call a partisan prosecution unfair and then use his presidential power to undo it. He pardoned Scooter Libby and he’s going to pardon Dinesh D’Souza. In my book, that makes Trump a lot better president than George W. Bush whose deferential attitude toward the operations of government, even when democrats were using the system corruptly, made him into a passive patsy.
Trump’s willingness to pardon victims of partisan bogus prosecutions is actually a very important application of the constitutional principle of Checks and Balances, and on the level of practical politics will tend to suppress use of that cruel and nefarious tactic in the future. If democrats are obliged to recognize that the next Republican president will call them out, and simply cancel what they did with a stroke of the pen, the game will be seen to be not worth the candle. Good going, Trump!