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Dinesh D’Souza pleads guilty to campaign finance charge (Update: Interview video)

Dinesh D’Souza pleads guilty to campaign finance charge (Update: Interview video)

Lessons: (1) Don’t break the law, (2) especially if you are a high-profile critic of the administration.

We previously covered Dinesh D’Souza’s indictment on campaign finance fraud based on reimbursing others for campaign donations.

The case stunk of selective prosecution, but selective prosecution is not a legal defense except in the most extreme circumstances.

If you are caught speeding, it’s not a defense that others were speeding too.

Today D’Souza pleaded guilty, as reported at Townhall:

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. 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 His right to vote, right to hold public office, right to possess a firearm and right to sit on a jury have been revoked.

There are at least two lessons here:

1. Don’t break the law.
2. Especially if you are a high-profile conservative critic of the administration.

This will, of course, be used to taint all the good work he has done and will do in the future.

I haven’t been able to access a court docket, for reasons I can’t figure out. I’ll add the plea documents if I can find them.

(Update) D’Souza was interviewed by Megyn Kelly tonight:


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


“This will, of course, be used to taint all the good work he has done and will do in the future.”

Yes. I propose Mr. D’Souza carries the exact same level of stigma as Tim Geitner, tax law criminal.

    platypus in reply to Ragspierre. | May 20, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Innocent until proven guilty? Just being hypertechnical.

    But Timmy is hawking his book from which he will pay all the taxes he owes, right?

      Ragspierre in reply to platypus. | May 20, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      “Stigma” is completely outside the legal ambit.

      OJ Simpson is a murderer. He has not been convicted of murder.

He can’t vote? Here’s the way to cure that:

1. Renounce citizenship, then go to Mexico.
2. Re-enter the country as an ILLEGAL.
3. New voting privileges guaranteed.

9thDistrictNeighbor | May 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm

In addition, this will be used to bludgeon Republicans and conservatives for the next 17 months. The best we can hope is that the low-information crowd says “Dinesh D’who?”

It is alarming that this minor first offense is being met with over a year of prison time. Bold bloggers like Prof Jacobson who put their name on their advocacy are exceptional citizens given this chill — and further one might assume that federal and state liberals have thoroughly vetted them for possible prosecutions to no avail. If it’s this important for the Left to reach so unevenly to chill dissent from the Right, then insecurity is substituting for integrity with this administration. No doubt many profound misdeeds are yet to unearth for this administration.

Dinesh admitted that he did indeed ask two people to make contributions and then he reimbursed them.

This isn’t chilling that he was prosecuted.

I thought this is what we want. People who break campaign laws to be prosecuted.

Because he was on the side of conservatism doesn’t make what he did somehow nobler. It just made him as guilty as Obama and others who haven’t been caught or prosecuted(and sadly, won’t be. Remember Obama’s campaign had no controls on whether donations were coming from outside of the country…nothing ever happend in that situation)

Either we do what is right, or we become just as slimy as the other side.
Had he not done this, we would be able to loudly celebrate his next movie. Now the left can proudly trumpet that the movie was made by a convicted felon who confessed.

    Another Voice in reply to Uh Huh. | May 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    You described equal justice, and I agree. This was not that. For if it were, we would have had at least one notable conviction in the same time span coming from at least one investigation by those on the left who systematically did like wise.

    Obama’s 2012 campaign turned off their donation verification shield just to avoid a paper trail, and later transferred money from these funds when they morphed into a tax-exempt “Organizing for Action” PAC. What is the standing of these illegalities? Selective Justice is no justice, just vindictiveness.

    sequester in reply to Uh Huh. | May 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    What on earth does a campaign finance law have to do with what is right or moral? Campaign finance laws are byzantine, Compliance takes armies of lawyers. Enforcement is not even handed or devoid of politics.

    These laws are the perfect palliative for a vengeful politician looking for payback.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Uh Huh. | May 20, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Remember Charlie Trie and those Buddhist monks who did the same for Clinton and Gore? Whatever became of them?

Another Voice | May 20, 2014 at 3:36 pm

D.O.J. select prosecution by Obama’s administration has all the same signature points of the number of I.R.S. reviews of conservative non-profits exempt applications as opposed to those applications filed by the progressive groups. Just as unequal, unbalanced and tainted. In this case, the justice system was allowed to remove the blind fold and drop the double edge sword altogether.

If you are caught speeding, it’s not a defense that others were speeding too.

No it isn’t. But if there is to be consistent justice in this world, we should also go after the others who were speeding but escaped scrutiny due to White Democrat Media Privilege and Black Democrat Racial Immunity.



Bring–brang–OK,never mind!

Oh, I wouldn’t worry. The Justice department is a clean, honest organization who treats film makers with the utmost of delicacy. Or as delicacies, I suppose. Looking forward to the next administration doing a search on the department’s email servers for ‘Dinesh’ and seeing just what kind of communications between the administration and the prosecution show up.

Sauce for the goose…

Midwest Rhino | May 20, 2014 at 5:54 pm

If it can be proven that only (or disproportionally) conservatives get pulled over for speeding, then “others were speeding too” WOULD be a defense.

I’m just guessing … and am not a lawyer. Of course the “driving while black” crap, I think it was New jersey … proved to be false. Black drivers were shown to actually speed more, at the same rate they were ticketed more.

But it is becoming quite clear that conservatives are chosen for audits or denied certain group status based solely on politics.

So “driving while conservative”, would perhaps work as a defense, given the 100,000 Lois Lerners in our government.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | May 20, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Maybe I’m wrong, but I bet Jesse Jackson can count on NEVER being audited for his tax returns, because of his political influence. By a Repub Admin or by a Dem Admin.

Henry Hawkins | May 20, 2014 at 9:28 pm

The IRS thing shows this admninistration uses the bureacracy to attack perceived enemies. The DoJ is abused the same way. It is reasonable to expect that every fed agency capable of harming enemies is tasked to do so. Evidence of it mounts.

Obama, et al, f**ked up targeting D’Souza for opposing Obama with a movie. The crime was small among its peers and Obama himself broke more campaign finance laws in 2008 (remember the donation websites without the required security, so anyone anywhere in the world could make unchallenged, anonymous donations?). Obama goes both grand and petty with abuses of power, plus he’s a liar and a crook.

D-Souza f**ked up by stupidly leaving himself so wide open to an attack from Obama that he, ‘D’Souza, should have anticipated – he did a movie on Obama’s thuggish Chicago-style politics, fer crissakes. D’Souza asked two friends to donate $10K each, for which he would reimburse them. Nobody does things that way – it’s an obvious and knowing set-up with the expressed purpose of violating campaign law. Not to mention that there are about 500 ways of violating campaign laws without getting caught.

Of course the law isn’t applied justly by this bunch in DC – it’s good to be the king. But D’Souza served himself up on a silver platter, basically surrendered to the enemy so dumb was his act, because there is zero doubt he knowingly committed the crime. He is guilty. If D’Souza thought he’d catch a sentencing break because it was small-ball in terms of campaign money and a crime pretty common to every election cycle, well, then D’Souza suffers a naivete that deserves about six months in prison. With one petty, unnecessary crime he has undone all his movie ever did.

    Estragon in reply to Henry Hawkins. | May 21, 2014 at 3:46 am

    The security protections for credit cards had to be physically disabled, but it was not against the law. They can’t knowingly accept foreign or other ineligible donations, but that’s the loophole. They chose not to know.

    Obama’s campaign did the same thing in 2012, too. As long as you win, the investigators are your employees.

Professor Jacobsen answered it on one of the other posts hours ago. Comments are automatically disabled on posts after 14 days.

So he says. But you and I know the Trilateral Commission is involved, right?