Conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza told Breitbart News that the federal government was “out to get me” and tried but failed to “put me away” during a wide-ranging interview at the National Security Action Summit on Monday.
“I know that the government was not only out to get me but to put me away–and put me away in such a significant way that if I got a sixteen-month sentence, for example, I’d be in a federal prison camp from now until the end of next year,” D’Souza said in the interview, conducted for Breitbart News Radio for Sirius XM Patriot Channel 125 and available on demand.
“The chances that I could film in the presidential election year of 2016 would be very low,” D’Souza said. “But interestingly, the zealous prosecution ran into a wall and that wall was called a judge. Interestingly, this was a liberal Democratic judge–a Clinton appointee–and it was way too much for him. He looked at the facts and he decided that what the prosecution wanted was not going to happen.”
D’Souza faced prosecution from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York for violating campaign finance laws by illegally donating over federal limits and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission. The office of the U.S. Attorney for that district, Democrat Preet Bharara, recommended that after D’Souza pled guilty to the charges he spend 10 to 16 months in prison for his actions. However, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman sentenced D’Souza to no jail time, five years probation, weekly therapy, one day of community service per week of probation time, and he has to pay a $30,000 fine.
When asked if he’s happy with the terms of the sentence he received, D’Souza told Breitbart News, “I am.”
“I think it’s a fair sentence,” D’Souza said. “It’s kind of a tough sentence. But look, I did do something wrong, and I do deserve to be punished. My issue from the beginning was that I need to be punished in the same manner as anyone else who did it who isn’t me. I think that I got a fair judge, so I’m thankful to him for not going along with a very powerful Justice Department and a very powerful U.S. government that would have liked to put me away.”
D’Souza said that if Bharara is nominated by President Barack Obama to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder–as some have suggested Obama might in the wake of Holder’s resignation announcement this week–Republicans in Congress should fight it.
“Let’s just say that if that happens, I hope the Republicans take the Senate in November because then they can hold government officials accountable in the way that they should be,” D’Souza said.
As for Holder, D’Souza said he might land a post-government job with a “criminal syndicate.”
“I’m really worried about Eric Holder’s job prospects,” D’Souza said. “I just don’t think he’s going to land–but I don’t know maybe there’s a criminal syndicate somewhere looking for a boss with government experience.”
Administration-wide–not just on his specific case–D’Souza said congressional Republicans need to investigate political targeting, and officials in the Obama administration need to “go to jail” if they did engage in such behavior.
“It’s now time to look at this. In civil rights cases you can tell, for example, if blacks are being systematically discriminated against,” D’Souza said. “You look at all the studies and then look at the rate at which someone commits an offense and then you look at the amount of time they’re prosecuted. For example, if blacks commit 10 percent of the crime but are prosecuted 50 percent of the time, that’s very suspicious and that’s prima facie evidence of discrimination. I think we need to study all the IRS audits and look to see if these audits are falling randomly on liberals and conservatives or if there’s a pattern. If there’s a pattern here, then lots of people need to go to jail. This needs to be vigorously prosecuted and so this is where the Republicans have to step up to the plate. This is not a case where it’s simply kind of just speculating and whining. It’s time to hold the government accountable in the way the founders intended.”
D’Souza said the government’s attempts to shut him down have failed, and he is currently planning a major film for mid-2016 release.
“I am definitely going to make a big film in 2016,” D’Souza said. “I’m going to release it in the summer, just like the movie ‘2016’ which came out in 2012. I’m in a very early stage–I’ve been preoccupied with legal problems and I’ve been trying to dodge a bullet, and I’m very glad I’ve been able to do that and so I’ve been pulling blueprints and starting to think about what that movie will look like.”
During the interview, D’Souza laid out how America is currently facing a political “pathological moment,” in large part thanks to the mainstream media–which hasn’t aggressively investigated the Obama administration or vetted the president’s political agenda.
“The press does not want the first African-American president to fail, and for that reason, the normal lens of analysis and criticism–which is part of what keeps our democracy healthy–is not properly functioning,” D’Souza said. “Obama knows that and therefore he knows he can get away with things. The great line from Julius Caesar is ‘he would not be a wolf if we were not sheep.’ He knows that, from the press’s point of view, they’re being sheep, and therefore he can run amok.”
D’Souza said that the political left has institutionalized itself in America, taking over education, Hollywood, and other entertainment distribution channels and other parts of the culture.
“The left is dominant in that it has the huge institutions on its side,” D’Souza said. “What helps us is we are at a huge moment of opportunity at which the business models of these institutions are obsolete. These gigantic studios, these tyrannical unions, colleges cost way too much, a lot of the old media models are crumbling. So out of this chaos comes hope, and what I’m hoping to do is to create some new institutions in these areas, take advantage of the free market system and technology to not only make rival movies but create a business model that works better than theirs.”
Because of the left’s dominance in American culture, D’Souza said that the right needs to expand its influence on the culture as well–and do things like his documentary films rather than just writing books or fighting day-to-day political and policy battles.
“My last two books, for example, were both number one on the New York Times bestseller list–they sold between 100,000 and 200,000 copies, which is a lot, and I’m certainly happy to be outselling, say, Hillary’s book,” D’Souza said. “But on the other hand, 7 million people saw ‘2016.’ We put one and a half million people in the theater to see ‘America,’ and it’s coming out on DVD in October. So you have a different level of reach. The left has been really effective while conservatives are kind of huddled on ‘how do we take the Senate?’ The left has been moving in higher education and media and Hollywood and taken over the high ground of the culture. So what I’m trying to do is create institutions and megaphones to be able to get out a rival message and contest the leftist hegemony on its own grounds.”
D’Souza said that he’s not thrilled with the GOP establishment, a party that seems to be “slumbering” and “incompetent at best.”
“The 2012 election was the Republicans’ election to lose, and they lost it,” D’Souza said. “This election is a Republican election to lose–I don’t know how it’s going to come out. I sometimes feel like I’m out on the front lines on these battles, and I look around for the RNC and it’s nowhere to be found. So we have a Republican Party that’s slumbering, incompetent at best. The donors who give to the Republican Party need to hold the party accountable. I’m not saying not to help or not to contribute–we need the Republican Party–but we need the Republican Party to fight.”
Moving forward and heading into the 2016 presidential cycle, D’Souza said the Republicans will lose the White House yet again if the GOP keeps shunning the different elements of the conservative movement–national security conservatives, social conservatives, and libertarians or fiscal conservatives.
“There’s no way to win elections without national security conservatives, without social conservatives, and without libertarians,” D’Souza said. “We need all those groups. That coalition, I strongly believe, can be put back together. By and large, entrepreneurs and business guys–big money–they’ve got wives, they’ve got small kids, they are socially conservative. But the social conservative issues need to be articulated in a little bit of a new way, sort of like national security–there’s a little bit of weariness over the way it was done under Bush. So it’s important for conservatives to say we’re not just against Obama and that Bush was right. We have learned some lessons under Bush, and we’re going with a sort of new prudence but also a new idealism into the future.”