Conservative author Dinesh D’Souza, one of the most brilliant conservative political writers of the modern era, was sentenced by a judge last week to eight months in a halfway house and probation. He was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine within 45 days. His alleged crime? He made two contributions to a losing political campaign under the names of friends. D’Souza accepted a plea agreement admitting he used straw donors to donate $20,000 to the U.S. Senate campaign of Wendy Long, a friend of his. Federal campaign law limits contributors to U.S. Senate campaigns to $5,000 each.
At first glance one is inclined to think, “you commit a crime, you deserve the punishment.” But a closer look reveals that he is not being punished equally compared to others who did the same thing - in fact he is being punished much more severely than Democrats who did much worse. There are myriads of campaign laws the average person has no idea exist. The laws have become so complex, vast - and there are multiple layers: federal, state, local laws and regulations. Many conservative intellectuals like D’Souza are vastly experienced with policy - but not campaigns/elections, which are a completely different world.
This incident reminds me of one of my favorite books, Three Felonies a Day, written by Harvey Silverglate, a criminal defense attorney, who explains how the average American unknowingly commits three felonies a day. As bright as D’Souza is, I guarantee you he did not realize there was a severe penalty for merely giving money to two friends, who then donated it to an obviously losing political campaign.
Many campaign laws today make little sense, because they were passed into law due to the influence of powerful special interests. The “campaign finance reform” laws that Sen. John McCain got passed into law ended up hurting many conservatives, including former House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, who has been fighting prosecution over alleged violations for many years now. If D’Souza had simply created a Super PAC to help Long, he would have been fine, and could have even contributed an unlimited amount of money independently to assist Long. I highly doubt D’Souza knew of this slight, technical distinction, or he would have gone that route. I am a former elections attorney, and I didn’t even fully understand the difference until I just now researched it.
Let’s contrast this with what happened to former Democratic candidate for president, John Edwards, who reportedly used nearly $1 million in campaign funds to hide an extramarital affair. If convicted, he would have faced up to 30 years in prison, a much more severe penalty than the three to 10 years D’Souza was facing. According to prosecutors, Edwards accepted $725,000 from an elderly lady, other donations from a wealthy Texas attorney, and filed a false campaign report in order to funnel roughly $1 million from those sources to his mistress, Rielle Hunter, ostensibly to keep her quiet, and an aide, Andrew Young, who pretended to be the father of Hunter’s child with Edwards. Young, who was married, later came out and denounced Edwards in a book for putting him in that position. Edwards, for his knowing and immoral shenanigans, served ZERO time - not a day in a halfway house, jail or prison.
Edwards’ two attorneys, who include Geoffrey Fieger, the notorious attorney for euthanasia doctor Jack Kevorkian, were also acquitted of any wrongdoing. They had been indicted for allegedly causing more than 60 straw donors to contribute over $125,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign. That’s right, more than 60 straw donors, not just two like D’Souza allegedly recruited. It was easy for prosecutors to show the 60 were straw donors, because they were virtually all employees of Edwards’ attorney’s law firm Fieger Law, family members of the firm’s employees or third-party vendors of the firm.
The indictment of Edwards’ attorneys stated that Fieger “tried to obstruct and impede the grand jury's investigation of the illegal campaign contributions...attempted to shift responsibility for the illegal contributions to a deceased officer of the Fieger firm, attempted to mislead the grand jury by telling witnesses false information with the intent that the witnesses would repeat that false information to law enforcement authorities, and attempted to conceal an incriminating document from the grand jury.”
This grossly unfair treatment of Edwards and his attorneys vs. D’Souza comes down to the leftists who control the judiciary and the legal system. The judge who imposed the sentence on D’Souza, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman, is a liberal who was appointed to the court by former president Bill Clinton. Berman is a former executive director of the New York Alliance to Save Energy, which states that part of its goals are to “lessen greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on the global climate.” He has a masters in social work, and is known for rulings such as approving a settlement requiring Islamic inmates to be served a diet that follows their religion.
The prosecutors handling the trial against D’Souza are also liberals. Under Obama, the Justice Department takes its orders from the top. The prosecutor who went after D’Souza demanding prison time, Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Cohen, is the vice president of the New York City Bar, which is an indication she is an activist on the left, since most busybodies who run Bar associations are. She declared that D’Souza’s “actions were premeditated” and “a prison sentence is sufficient.”
The unequal treatment under the law of conservatives vs. liberals continues to worsen as liberals become more brazen, complacently used to having control over the legal system. We’ve seen the worst abuses ever in recent years by the so-called justice system, as leftist agitator Eric Holder used his position as head of the U.S. Department of Justice to sue conservative states over illegal immigration laws.
As I wrote previously about this case, D’Souza is being targeted because he is a highly influential and brilliant figure on the right. The scales of justice are not balanced any longer, sadly, in the U.S. Those of color on the right - D’Souza is a dark-skinned immigrant from India - are targeted more viciously by the left than other conservatives, because they defeat the left’s false argument that the right is composed of only white people. It is going to get worse unless far more Americans start speaking out about the horrendous abuses of the legal system against conservatives.
Once our laws morphed off their ethical and moral foundations, right and wrong have been handed off to liberal, activist lawyers and judges, whose only “right” has now become the promotion of their leftist political agenda.