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Trump to pardon conservative commentator convicted of campaign finance violations


U.S. President Donald Trump said he will grant a full pardon on Thursday to conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who was sentenced in 2014 to five years of probation for federal campaign law violations.

Trump made the announcement Thursday morning on Twitter.

D’Souza, 53, admitted in May 2014 that he illegally reimbursed two “straw donors” who donated $10,000 US each to the unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in New York of Wendy Long, a Republican he had known since attending Dartmouth College in the early 1980s.

At the time, the government said a prison sentence of 10 months to 16 months was appropriate for D’Souza, and necessary to deter others from abusing the election process, including “well-heeled individuals who are tempted to use their money to help other candidates.”

D’Souza waited to “the last possible moment” prior to trial before admitting guilt, the government said, and then went on television shows and the internet to say he was “selectively” targeted for prosecution, and had little choice but to plead 
guilty.

The case against D’Souza, a critic of Democratic former president Barack Obama, prompted some conservatives to accuse the government of selective prosecution. The prosecutor in the case, then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan, was an Obama appointee.

D’Souza was born in Mumbai and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1991. He wrote the bestsellers The Roots of Obama’s Rage in 2010 and America: Imagine a World Without Her this year, and in 2012 co-directed the film 2016: Obama’s America.





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