Posted on | May 20, 2014 | 38 Comments
The conservative intellectual committed a particularly clumsy crime — an ill-disguised straw-donor scheme that violated federal campaign finance law — in an inexplicable attempt to aid a Republican candidate who never had a real chance to win. Whether or not Dinesh D’Souza was a target of selective prosecution, he was nonetheless guilty, and has now officially admitted he broke the law:
Conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a campaign finance law violation, avoiding a trial that had been expected to begin the same day in a Manhattan federal court.
D’Souza, known for his biting criticism of President Barack Obama, pleaded guilty to one criminal count of making illegal contributions in the names of others. A second count concerning the making of false statements is expected to be dismissed once he is sentenced.
The plea came four months after Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charged D’Souza with using “straw donors” to give funds in 2012 to Republican Wendy Long’s U.S. Senate campaign in New York. Long, who met D’Souza while they were students in the 1980s, lost to Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand.
“I knew that causing a campaign contribution to be made in the name of another was wrong and something the law forbids,” D’Souza, 53, told U.S. District Judge Berman on Tuesday. “I deeply regret my conduct.”
(Via Memeorandum.) Evading federal campaign finance law is rather easy to accomplish by entirely legal means, and even illegal “straw donor” schemes usually go undetected. But D’Souza is an intellectual, and as such, lacked the necessary “street smarts” either to find a legal loophole or to get away with a federal crime.