Documents: Federal Prosecutors Misled Judge in Pursuit of Prison Time For Dinesh D'Souza

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Sep 23, 2014 7:00 AM
Documents: Federal Prosecutors Misled Judge in Pursuit of Prison Time For Dinesh D'Souza

According to court documents, federal prosecutors working on behalf of Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice misled U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman in the case against conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza during their pursuit of 10-to-16 months of prison time for a federal felony charge.

In a reply sentencing memo submitted to the Court on behalf of D'Souza last week, his counsel argues federal prosecutors excluded and misrepresented the facts of “similar” cases in the Government's sentencing proposal to Judge Berman, leaving out crucial facts key to fair and equal sentencing for D’Souza compared to other cases. The prosecution has a duty to present comparable cases and crimes when arguing for a prison sentence. In their presentation of “similar” cases to the Judge for consideration during his deliberation, the prosecution ignored all truly similar cases without prison time but did present cases that included prison time without a full set of facts to justify sentencing.

“The Government, in this case, has chosen to consciously omit from its submission critical facts from most of the cases they cite which make it clear that those cases are substantially distinguishable from the facts in D’Souza’s prosecution,” the memo states. 

D’Souza’s counsel provided the court with a chart detailing “the 'limited’ facts from each case that the Government highlights” and then provided the missing facts the Government failed to include in order to avoid undermining their own argument against a prison sentence. With all the facts in place, the Government doesn’t have a case that adds up to a sentence that includes imprisonment.

In the chart submitted to the Judge by D’Souza’s counsel, you’ll notice the “facts” on the left submitted to the Judge by the Government to be used for sentencing consideration. On the right, you’ll find the full facts of the case the Government deliberately failed to include. Below are three of eight examples provided. You can read the rest here.

The prosecution's distortion of the facts in "similar cases" backs up long held suspicions that D’Souza was selectively prosecuted by the Department of Justice for political purposes and shows deceitful, malicious tactics being used to impose an unjust sentence.

“To be candid, counsel were surprised to see that in the Sentencing Memorandum, the Government cavalierly treats and then distorts critical issues so important to the Court’s decision. In doing so, to the Government ironically provides further support for more vigorous prosecution and now, for more severe punishment than virtually any other defendant whose crime is ‘similar’ to that of Mr. D’Souza’s, especially when his case is devoid of any element of corruption or personal greed that is at the heart of every case the Government cites,” the memo states. “Indeed, so determined is the Government in its effort to convince your Honor to imprison Mr. D’Souza, that they supplied the Court with a list of cases in support of their argument on sentence parity, but did so in a manner that was disingenuous. When one carefully examines the facts in each and every one of the case cited by the government in support of their sentence parity argument, it soon becomes clear that prison was imposed in each of those cases for a variety of aggravating factors that have nothing whatsoever to do with the prosecution of Mr. D’Souza."

The government failed to present any case, all facts included, comparable to D’Souza’s which involved illegally using two straw donors to donate a total of $20,000 to an ill-fated campaign. Back in May, D’Souza pled guilty to one count on federal charges detailed in an indictment accusing him of violating campaign finance laws and making false statements. D'Souza admitted in front of the Court that he did in fact ask two people to make contributions in their name and later reimbursed them, knowing it was not proper under the law. D'Souza submitted a plea deal on May 19 and the charge of making false statements was dropped. D’Souza’s defense team has argued that although criminally culpable, their client should not be imprisoned.

“After studying the chart and cases cited, we respectfully ask that the Court completely reject the Government’s argument that sentence parity supports a prison sentence for Mr. D’Souza. Simply put, their argument on this issue must be rejected because it is not sound,” D’Souza’s counsel argues in the document. “A good man who is 53 years old, with no criminal record and a genuine scholar, should not be sent to prison for a non-violent technical violation of the Federal Election Law where he was not trying to obtain an advantage or any personal benefit and where the case is devoid of any corruption whatsoever.”

D’Souza’s counsel has asked for a sentence of probation and community service. D'Souza is set for sentencing in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, today at 9 a.m. ET. Judge Berman said earlier this year he will consider D'Souza's character and history in his sentencing.