President Trump announced Thursday morning he will grant conservative author, successful filmmaker and thought leader Dinesh D'Souza a full pardon. D'Souza pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance law in 2014. While he avoided prison, he was sentenced to 8-months service in a halfway house.
"Today, President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) to Dinesh D’Souza, an accomplished author, lecturer, and scholar," Press Secretary Sarah Sanders released in a statement. "Mr. D’Souza was, in the President’s opinion, a victim of selective prosecution for violations of campaign finance laws. Mr. D’Souza accepted responsibility for his actions, and also completed community service by teaching English to citizens and immigrants seeking citizenship."
In light of these facts, the President has determined that Mr. D’Souza is fully worthy of this pardon
Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
Documents obtained by Townhall in 2014 showed prosecutors from Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department misled a federal judge in order to pursue prison time for 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 eventually pleaded guilty in the case. From the court room at the time:
Author and conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza plead guilty this morning 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 U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 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. Judge Richard Berman accepted his guilty plea today and set a sentencing date for September 23, 2014. The government argued attorneys would be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant, D'Souza, is guilty. There will be no trial by jury in this case.
"Guilty your honor," D'Souza said, adding that he deeply regrets his actions.
"The plea is now accepted and Mr. D'Souza is now guilty under the indictment," Berman replied.
By entering a guilty plea, D'Souza waived his right to appeal and his right to sentence modification or reduction. He faces a maximum of two years in prison, three years supervised release and a $250,000 fine. There is no parole in the federal system. His right to vote, right to hold public office, right to possess a firearm and right to sit on a jury have been revoked.
"Mr. D'Souza agreed to accept responsibility for having urged two close associates to make contributions of $10,000 each to the unsuccessful 2012 senate campaign of Wendy Long and then reimbursing them for their contributions. Given the technical nature of the charge, there was no viable defense," D'Souza Attorneys Benjamin Brafman and Alex Spiro said in a statement. "We are hopeful that Judge Berman will recognize Mr. D'Souza to be a fundamentally honorable man who should not be imprisoned for what was an isolated instance of wrongdoing in an otherwise productive and responsible life."
Judge Berman said in the courtroom that he will consider D'Souza's character and history in his sentencing. Earlier this year, D'Souza plead not guilty and was released on $500,000 bond.
This is a developing story, stay tuned for updates. This story has been updated with additional information.