President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will pardon conservative pundit and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, who pleaded guilty in 2014 to making an illegal campaign contribution.
The president said D'Souza -- a far-right conspiracy monger -- was
"treated very unfairly" by the federal government.
D'Souza pleaded guilty in 2014 to reimbursing two of his associates after directing them to contribute $10,000 each to the 2012 Senate campaign of Wendy Long. He also admitted that he knew what he was doing violated the law.
Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, D’Souza was prohibited from contributing more than $5,000 to any one candidate.
"Dinesh D'Souza attempted to illegally contribute over $10,000 to a Senate campaign, wilfully undermining the integrity of the campaign finance process," [Then-U.S. attorney Preet] Bharara said. "Like many others before him, of all political stripes, he has had to answer for this crime – here with a felony conviction."
D'Souza was sentenced to spend an eight-hour day each week in community service as part of a five-year probationary term, according to the Southern District of New York. He also has to attend weekly counseling sessions and pay a $30,000 fine.
Trump’s pardon of D’Souza marks the sixth time he has exercised the power since taking office, CNBC reported.
Notably, the president granted pardons to former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court; and Scooter Libby, a Bush administration official convicted of obstruction of justice, false statements, and perjury.
The president’s announcement came less than a day after his Oval Office meeting with reality star Kim Kardashian, during which Kardashian asked Trump to grant clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, a 65-year-old woman serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.