Best-Selling Conservative Author Dinesh D’Souza Indicted in Campaign Fraud

The political commentator behind <i>2016: Obama’s America</i> allegedly contributed money to a U.S. Senate campaign in the name of others in 2012.

Political commentator and author Dinesh D'Souza.
National Journal
Elahe Izad
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Elahe Izad
Jan. 23, 2014, 1:33 p.m.

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.”

In the 2012 race, D’Souza cam­paigned and hos­ted fun­draisers for Wendy Long in her bid against Demo­crat­ic Sen. Kirsten Gil­librand of New York. But no can­did­ate was named in the in­dict­ment.

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.

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