Will give full pardon to Dinesh D'sourza, says Trump

Zach D Roberts  AP

D'Souza, whose case had become a cause in conservative circles, was sentenced to five years' probation in 2014 after pleading guilty to violating federal election law by making illegal contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign in the names of others.

D'Souza thanked those who urged Trump to pardon him, and took a swipe at Preet Bharara, the USA attorney who prosecuted him.

Setting the new case apart from the others: D'Souza had actually pleaded guilty to the charges against him ― making his pardon, say Trump critics, a clear sign to the handful of former Trump aides who have pleaded guilty in the Russian Federation probe and are now cooperating with Mueller's team.

Prosecutors said D'Souza had other individuals donate money to Republican Wendy Long, a Republican challenging Sen.

Trump announced one pardon Thursday and said he was considering two others.

In April, Trump pardoned I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, an adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney who was convicted of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and obstructing justice.

Critics also speculated Trump was dangling the promises of pardons in front of his lawyer Michael Cohen and former campaign manager Paul Manafort, if they refuse pressure to flip on him. The prosecutor in the case was James Comey, who later became Federal Bureau of Investigation director and was sacked by Trump.

"It's nearly like President Trump went through a list of potential crimes that he and his White House could be charged with and found pardons for other people to lay the groundwork", he said on CNN. "However, I believe this is opening a door, and if he doesn't follow through with [more] people who are not well-known, I think that will be extremely disappointing".

D'Souza also personally contributed $10,000 to the campaign of Republican Wendy Long, who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in NY in 2012. The case was prosecuted in the Southern District of NY, where the U.S. Attorney at the time was Preet Bharara, who Trump fired soon after becoming president.

The editorial titled "Dinesh D'Souza?"

On Wednesday, Trump met with Kim Kardashian to discuss prison and sentencing reform.

D'Souza also cited a recent news report about the possibility that comedian Rosie O'Donnell had made contributions over the legal limit to Democratic candidates and said the "far-left, Trump-bashing O'Donnell should get the same treatment" he did.

"So it just sends a message that the president is going to act outside the normal bounds of how we go about giving these kind of pardons", he said. Trump pardoned Libby in April.

"The President has the right to pardon but the facts are these: D'Souza intentionally broke the law, voluntarily pled guilty, apologized for his conduct & the judge found no unfairness", he tweeted after Trump made the announcement. "The career prosecutors and agents did their job".

Later, talking to reporters on Air Force One as he flew to Texas for fundraisers, Trump said he was also considering pardoning Stewart, who was convicted in an insider trade case in 2004.

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

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