Donald Trump announces he will give full pardon to Dinesh D’Souza
Donald Trump announced this afternoon that he will give a full pardon to Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative author and filmmaker who was convicted of making an illegal campaign contribution in 2014.
The president's big reveal came on Twitter, where he stated: "Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government!"
The 57-year-old bestselling author - known for being sharply critical of former President Barack Obama - was charged four years ago with illegally arranging for two of his associates to donate $10,000 each to Republican Senate candidate Wendy Long in New York in 2012.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years of probation, including eight months living under supervision in a community confinement centre and a $30,000 fine.
His conviction was announced by Preet Bharara, an American lawyer who served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2017. The US attorney was fired by Trump shortly after he took office in January 2017.
"Dinesh D'Souza attempted to illegally contribute over $10,000 to a Senate campaign, wilfully undermining the integrity of the campaign finance process," Mr Bharara said at the time. "Like many others before him, of all political stripes, he has had to answer for this crime - here with a felony conviction."
The right-wing Indian American writer is best-known for his controversial books and documentaries, the most notable perhaps being 2016: Obama's America, an anti-Obama polemic based on his 2010 book, The Roots of Obama's Rage, which became the second-highest grossing political documentary produced in the United States. In addition, in 2016, he released a documentary film and book, both entitled Hillary's America, in which he gave his version of the history of the Democratic Party.
However, he most recently made headlines when he ridiculed the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. D’Souza sparked outrage when he tweeted stating that the tragedy was the "worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs". He caused further controversy when he suggested that the adults who decided not to ban assault weapons had won, writing "Adults 1, kids 0" on Twitter.
D’Souza is one of the few people to have received pardons from President Trump, including former Sheriff Joseph Arpaio in August 2017 and former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby in April.
Yesterday, the reality-TV-star-turned-president met with Kim Kardashian to discuss the pardon of Alice Johnson, a great-grandma who has served more than 20 years in prison for a first-time drug offence, sparking speculation that she may be next to receive clemency from Trump.