President Trump Pardons Conservative Icon Dinesh D’Souza
President Trump issued a pardon for Dinesh D’Souza, who pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions back in 2014. USA Today says he also said he was considering issuing clemency for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and lifestyle and TV personality Martha Stewart. Reports by the New York Times also provided details used in this article.
Trump took to Twitter, saying D’Souza was treated unfairly by the government. D’Souza later took to Twitter and blasted former US Attorney Preet Bharara, who prosecuted him. He said he targeted him and destroyed him to move up in his career. D’Souza applauded a social media campaign and Senator Ted Cruz, for bringing the case to President Trump’s attention.
D’Souza pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions to the candidacy of Republican New York Senate candidate Wendy Long. He ended up giving $20,000 in illegal contributions to her campaign.
Dinesh D’Souza apologized for what he did and said he feared he was being targeted for prosecutions. This is the fifth pardon issued by President Trump during his presidency. He’s made these pardons without going through proper channels of the Department of Justice. His pardons have all appeared to be politically motivated. He recently pardoned ex-Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former White House aide Scooter Libby.
Trump later pardoned Kristian Saucier, who was a Navy submariner who was convicted of mishandling classified information. She gained the national attention of conservatives, comparing her case to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server. Last week, President Trump issued a posthumous pardon to former heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. Johnson was convicted in 1913 over his relationship with a white woman.
Dinesh D’Souza did not apply for a pardon through the Office of the Pardon Attorney, which investigates pardons and then offers recommendations to the president. According to the New York Times, under the Justice Department rules, D’Souza would not be eligible for a pardon because he’s still serving probation.
President Trump planned pardons of Blagojevich and Martha Stewart are a personal attack on the prosecutors who have become enemies of the president. Stewart was prosecuted by James Comey, the former FBI director who Trump fired last year. Blagojevich was prosecuted by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, a friend, and colleague of Comey.
While on Air Force One, President Trump said that D’Souza should have given a “minor fine.” Trump’s string of pardons comes as his personal lawyers are being investigated for allegedly violating federal campaign finance laws.