Reported by Liku Zelleke
Conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, as was expected, has pleaded guilty to a charge stemming from campaign finance violations. The United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York sent out an advisory on Monday night saying a hearing would be scheduled for today – a sign that had rightly been construed that a plea could be expected.
D’Souza, 53, admitted that he had exceeded donor limits in 2012 when he arranged for other people to give to the New York Senate campaign of Wendy Long. The state also says that he made false statements about the donations.
D’Souza and his wife made a contribution of $10,000 to Long’s campaign and he then directed his associates to contribute on behalf of themselves and their spouses a total amount of $20,000, which he was then going to reimburse them.
According to federal election law, there is a limit on how much an individual can contribute to a federal candidate for a primary and general election – $2,500 for each. The law also prohibits anyone from making contributions in someone else’s name or reimbursing them for another’s contribution.
Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement, “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.”
The statement went on, “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, who now faces a maximum of two years behind bars, is the director of “2016: Obama’s America,” which was highly critical of President Barack Obama. Could this be politically-motivated?