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.