Trump pardons conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, considers pardoning Martha Stewart

01 June, 2018, 18:16 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Trump pardons conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, considers pardoning Martha Stewart

President Donald Trump says he will pardon conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance fraud.

In 2014, then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charged D'Souza with using "straw donors" to contribute funds to Wendy Long, a Republican who ran for Senate in NY against Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012. He was sentenced to five years of probation and eight months in a halfway house, and paid a $30,000 fine.

Martha Stewart was prosecuted by Comey when he was U.S. attorney attorney for the Southern District of NY.

"I think to a certain extent Martha Stewart was harshly and unfairly treated", Trump said.

President Donald Trump exercised his pardon powers on Thursday.

James Comey, whom Trump fired as FBI director past year and has repeatedly assailed, was the lead federal prosecutor in Stewart's case and played a role in the prosecution of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Patrick Fitzgerald, who is now a member of Comey's legal team, served as a USA attorney when Blagojevich was arrested in 2008 and said at the time that the then-governor had engaged in "what we can only describe as a political corruption crime spree".

Within days of his personal lawyer's offices being searched in April, Trump pardoned Lewis "Scooter" Libby of his 2007 perjury and obstruction of justice conviction for his role in disclosing the name of a Central Intelligence Agency agent.

In his guilty plea, D'Souza acknowledged he promised to reimburse two close associates if each would contribute $10,000 to Long's campaign, an act he said he knew "was wrong and something the law forbids".




The official said Trump has prioritized actions that have personally affected him - noting he's been particularly drawn to cases where he believes there was political motivation to the prosecutions.

The Department of Justice confirmed that the D'Souza pardon did not follow the established process for clemency ― the same way the Arpaio and Libby pardons had not.

The case against D'Souza, a critic of Democratic former President Barack Obama, prompted some conservatives to accuse the government of selective prosecution.

The editorial titled "Dinesh D'Souza?" In the tweet, D'Souza said that it was the "worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs".

D'Souza ultimately admitted to donating tens of thousands of dollars to a U.S. Senate campaign, well above the individual contributions limit of $5,000, by funneling money to other people and donating in their names.

Other government watchdogs raised Trump's first pardon, issued last August to former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.

D'Souza also fits that approach, Wright said.

Trump also told reporters he was considering a commutation and pardon for former IL governor Rod Blagojevich and lifestyle maven Martha Stewart, respectively. Four years later, he put out Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, which heavily criticized Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party as a whole. Trump pardoned Libby in April.

In addition to the five people pardoned, Trump has granted one commutation since taking office.

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