NEW YORK — Author, filmmaker, and conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza spoke with Breitbart News on Wednesday about his court sentencing for violating federal campaign finance laws in his approach to supporting his longtime friend and former New York Senate candidate Wendy Long. An immigrant himself, D’Souza also had some words of advice for his political party of choice and touched up on a strategy he believes would benefit the Golden State as well as the Republican Party going forward.
Tuesday’s court sentencing in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York by Judge Richard Berman was a roller-coaster ride of emotions that resulted in a five year probation and eight months of confinement in a community center for D’Souza; the sentencing also included therapeutic counseling, an order D’Souza’s attorney Benjamin Brafman said he had never heard be prescribed by a judge for such a crime before.
In court on Tuesday, Judge Berman had expressed his bewilderment at the fact that a man with D’Souza’s accomplishments would take such a “staggeringly enormous risk” and make the careless mistake of providing straw donations – contributions in the names of other people — to a political campaign and, as a result, break the law. D’Souza came to this country from India with nothing, has worked in the White House, and made a great success through his penmanship and film making [2016: Obama’s America (released in 2012) and America: Imagine a World Without Her], building himself up as a bastion of the American Dream.
D’Souza told Breitbart News that Judge Berman “seemed to be genuinely baffled by why I did this.” And then he described what he was unable to in court on Tuesday:
Look. There’s something that’s unusual about the immigrant experience. You’re a displaced person… and when you are a displaced person you develop new attachments that become just as strong as the attachments of your family. I developed an attachment to a strong group of friends that I developed at Dartmouth and Wendy Long was one of them. And once you do understand it, it’s not as mysterious anymore.
When asked about by Breitbart News about the effect of the case had on his friendship with Ms. Long, D’Souza said their friendship remains strong. “We have a longstanding and unwavering friendship. She texted me after the sentencing and asked ‘what does this confinement in the community center mean?’ And I don’t know myself,” he told Breitbart News.
D’Souza is due back in court on October 15 and will likely receive details surrounding his eight month confinement during that time. The Judge said in court that D’Souza would be serving out the duration of his confinement in a halfway home in San Diego, where he resides.
Just last weekend, the California GOP held their biannual conference in Los Angeles, where Breitbart News had an exclusive interview with potential 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY). Breitbart News asked D’Souza, who has commented extensively on conservatism, for his opinion on California as well as the future of the GOP:
The goal of the Republican Party should be to get 15-20% of the black vote; 40% of the Hispanic vote; and 90% of the Asian-American vote. And the Republican Party is just so far away from those numbers that clearly there needs to be some really fresh thinking about how to broaden the ranks of the party.
D’Souza pointed out that he was not sure if the current lineup of potential presidential contenders from the GOP is quite where they need to be in order to achieve this. However, he did make certain to note that immigrants like himself from the Asian-American culture, in particular (ranging from China to India) are “highly entrepreneurial, highly hard working… [and] they have benefited greatly from America.” He continued, “they are tailor made for the Republican Party and it’s scandalous that the GOP hasn’t found a way to woo them.”
On Saturday, Rand Paul made similar remarks, placing emphasis on an all-inclusive approach stating “when we look like the rest of America, white, black, brown, we are going to win again.”
As for his career, D’Souza told Breitbart News that he feels he’s uniquely positioned and right where he belongs with regard to the type of work he’s doing:
I’m in a special niche and space in culture and the arts. I’m probably more effective doing what I do now and the space at which I’m moving is a combo of education, media, and culture. It is a space where there aren’t many conservatives.