Conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza is under indictment for allegedly running an illegal contribution scheme in a 2012 U.S. Senate race.
D’Souza, whose highly critical film 2016: Obama’s America became a commercial success in 2012, was charged Thursday with one count of contributing money to a U.S. Senate campaign in the name of others, totaling $20,000, which carries a maximum of two years in prison. He’s also been charged with causing a false statement to be made to the Federal Election Commission, which carries a maximum of five years in prison.
According to the indictment, D’Souza allegedly told associates to make campaign contributions for a single candidate, which he then reimbursed.
“Trying to influence elections through bogus campaign contributions is a serious crime. Today, Mr. D’Souza finds himself on the wrong side of the law,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said in a statement. “The Federal Election Campaign Act was written to limit the influence of money in elections; the FBI is fiercely committed to enforcing those laws to maintain the integrity of our democratic process.”
Federal laws laws prohibit an individual from making more than a total of $5,000 in campaign contributions to any one candidate.
D’Souza’s documentary, which grossed over $33 million and included an interview with the president’s half-brother, became a hit among conservatives with its sharply critical view of President Obama. He is also a best-selling author, former King’s College president, and former policy analyst for President Reagan.
What We're Following See More »
Paul Ryan told CNN today he's "not ready" to back Donald Trump at this time. "I'm not there right now," he said. Ryan said Trump needs to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of. And we've got a ways to go from here to there."
In The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin gives Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the longread treatment. The scourge of corrupt New York pols, bad actors on Wall Street, and New York gang members, Bharara learned at the foot of Chuck Schumer, the famously limelight-hogging senator whom he served as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee staff. No surprise then, that after President Obama appointed him, Bharara "brought a media-friendly approach to what has historically been a closed and guarded institution. In professional background, Bharara resembles his predecessors; in style, he’s very different. His personality reflects his dual life in New York’s political and legal firmament. A longtime prosecutor, he sometimes acts like a budding pol; his rhetoric leans more toward the wisecrack than toward the jeremiad. He expresses himself in the orderly paragraphs of a former high-school debater, but with deft comic timing and a gift for shtick."
President Obama has announced another round of commutations of prison sentences. Most of the 58 individuals named are incarcerated for possessions with intent to distribute controlled substances. The prisoners will be released between later this year and 2018.
The Daily Beast has unearthed a piece that Donald Trump wrote for Gear magazine in 2000, which anticipates his 2016 sales pitch quite well. "Perhaps it's time for a dealmaker who can get the leaders of Congress to the table, forge consensus, and strike compromise," he writes. Oddly, he opens by defending his reputation as a womanizer: "The hypocrites argue that a man who loves and appreciates beautiful women (and does so legally and openly) shouldn't become a national leader? Is there something wrong with appreciating beautiful women? Don't we want people in public office who show signs of life?"