A federal grand jury indicted conservative author and commentator Dinesh D’Souza Thursday for allegedly violating U.S. campaign finance law.
D’Souza, the author of books like Illiberal Education, What’s So Great About America, and The End of Racism, made the film 2016: Obama’s America, which was based on his book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage.
According to Reuters, D’Souza was accused of “arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate.” He is accused of reimbursing “people who he had directed to contribute $20,000” to the campaign of a U.S. Senate candidate who is not named in the indictment. He was also charged on one count of “causing false statements to be made.”
In 2012, federal law “limited primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each, for a total of $5,000, from any individual to any one candidate.”
Preet Bharara, an Obama appointee who is the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, said, “As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process.”
The candidate in question is 2012 New York Senate candidate Wendy Long, a Republican for whom D’Souza campaigned against incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). As Reuters notes, “Long graduated from Dartmouth College in 1982, a year before D’Souza.” Gillibrand, who won the race with nearly 72 percent of the vote, is also a 1988 graduate of Dartmouth.
D’Souza’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told The Hollywood Reporter that D’Souza “did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever… at worst this was an act of misguided friendship by D’Souza.”
Gerald Molen, a co-producer of the 2016 movie, accused the Obama administration of “criminalizing dissent through the selective enforcement of the law.”
In 2012, D’Souza resigned as president of King’s College after revelations that he was engaged to a woman after separating from his wife to whom he was still legally married. According to The Hollywood Reporter, D’Souza “has been cooperating with authorities” and “will surrender Friday for processing and be arraigned in the Southern District of New York.”